Sunday, March 21, 2010

Auditing the Military

A subcommittee of the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission has begun debating a proposal to more fully audit the military and allow for the Court of Accounts to examine military spending. On March 10, representatives of the Turkish Armed Forces conveyed their opposition to the proposal in a formal report to the subcommittee. Today's Zaman translates some of the TSK's report:
Efficiency and economy, which are the essence of performance auditing, cannot be sought at the same time in the TSK’s auditing. This situation is in contradiction with the spirit of defense services. The performance of the TSK can only be overseen by military personnel who are competent in this field. The efficiency and effectiveness of the armed forces can be ensured with education. The efficiency of the education is measured by drills. The efficiency of the drills can only be assessed by professional military experts.
The TSK also objects to measure in the proposal that would allow the Court of Accounts t review its inventory, as well as give the Court oversight of military facilities such as military clubs, canteens, museums and orduevis (dining facilities for members of the military). According to the TSK, the latter are non-profit organizations, and thus are not subject to auditing. In regard to the former, as with other legal efforts to provide for civilian auditing of military activity, the TSK cites state security. The auditing of military institutions is constantly cited as necessary to satisfying EU political standards for accession. From the 2009 Progress Report:
As regards auditing, under the Constitution the Court of Auditors can carry out external expost audits of military expenditure. However, these audits are based on accounting records and take the form of desk reviews. Auditors are not allowed to conduct on-the-spot checks.

Moreover, the court remains unable to audit movable assets belonging to the military, pendingadoption of the draft Law on the Court of Auditors. Last year, the Court of Auditors decided that it has a mandate to audit the SSDF. However, implementation has not yet started.

Concerning internal auditing, the 2003 Public Financial Management and Control Law, which provides for internal audits of security institutions, has not been implemented yet.

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