The former Chambre des comptes was established as an independent institution by a Royal Grand Ducal Decree in 1840. The actual Court of Auditors has been set up in 1999.
The Court is organised and functions in accordance with article 105 of the Constitution as well as the provisions laid down by the law of 8 June 1999.
The Court of Auditors comprises five members, namely the President, the Vice President and three counsellors. The Grand Duke appoints the members of the Court from a list of candidates presented to him by the Parliament. The members of the Court hold office for six years and can be reappointed.
The Court decides on a collegiate basis by majority vote. The President chairs the meetings and holds the casting vote in the event of a split decision.
The Court of Auditors controls the financial management of the instruments, administrations and services of the State. The Court is also entitled to examine other public bodies insofar as these are not subject to another system of financial audit prescribed by legislation. Finally, the Court can audit the use of public funds granted for a particular purpose to legal entities of the public sector and individual and legal entities of the private sector.
As external auditor the Court of Auditors also examines, in addition to the legality and regularity of the revenues and expenses, the sound financial management of public funds. Therefore, the Court of Auditors controls the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of the public expenditure, however without making any judgment on the appropiateness of the expenses.
The Court determines on its own initiative timing and type of the audits undertaken, either at the Court or at the audited bodies. Any document or any information which it deems necessary for carrying out its aims must be presented to the Court of Auditors on request. The Court takes all precautions to guarantee the confidentiality of its investigations.
The contradictory procedure of the Court’s audit involves an exchange of correspondence with the audited body. The Court of Auditors informs the audited body of its audit findings so that it can submit its comments within a period fixed by the Court.
Reports and opinions
As requested by law the Court is required to produce each year a general report on the accounts of the State of the preceding financial year. This report is transmitted to the Parliament.
Moreover, the Court can present at any time, either at the request of the Parliament or on its own initiative, its findings and recommendations on specific areas of financial management in a special report. These special reports are also submitted to the Parliament.
At the request of the Parliament, the Court of Auditors can express its opinion on draft legislation which has a significant financial impact on public funds, as well as on the management of the budget and on proposals for legislation relating to the accounting system of the State and other public sector bodies.
Around 35 staff members are assisting the Court of Auditors in the exercise of its functions. The Court of Auditors may also call on external consultants acting under the control and responsibility of the Court.
Each year the State budget makes a provision for the Court’s maintenance on the basis of the Court’s estimates. This arrangement ensures the independence of the Court of Auditors from the executive power it is charged with auditing. Furthermore, the accounts of the Court are approved each year by the Parliament.