State Audit Office passes verdict without real investigation or review of financial reports

Today, the courier of the State Audit Office (SAO) delivered Jobbik a draft resolution which, according to its title, is supposed to be on Jobbik’s Y2015-2016 financial management but actually contains statements on Y2017. Both the fact and the circumstances of the forbidden financial contribution claimed by the State Audit Office are utter nonsense without any professional grounds. The State Audit Office did not perform any real audit in terms of either Y2015-2016 or the still unclosed Y2017, as the SAO itself suspended the audit on a fabricated pretext on September 29.

Jobbik tried its best to cooperate with the State Audit Office even after the SAO illegally disallowed Jobbik’s electronic data submission and then refused to take over the documents on paper, too. The SAO failed to show any willingness to cooperate, which is clearly manifested in this excerpt from their letter:

“In your communication of October 5, 2017, you inquired how, by what deadline and in what form you could submit the documents on the financial management of Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary to the State Audit Office. In reference to your request, I inform you that on October 3, 2017 the SAO turned to the Prosecutor’s Office, which has the competency to investigate the details of the case. Should the submission of any further data become necessary, you shall be informed accordingly.
Yours sincerely,
Dr. Imre Nagy
Senior audit officer”

Since the SAO refused to take over Jobbik’s financial reports either electronically or on paper, it is doubtful what kind of documents and from what sources were used by the office as the grounds to establish the “forbidden financial contribution to a political party” referred to in the SAO’s release. The SAO has informed both the public and Jobbik on multiple occasions that it has no competency and right to act as long as the investigation is going on, so the preparation of this draft resolution raises serious doubts regarding the legitimacy and good faith of the procedure.

It is also unheard of that the State Audit Office published certain parts of the non-public draft resolution, thus essentially revoking the audited organization’s right to comment, and presenting its unilateral and baseless statements as facts, without ensuring the right to appeal. Article 1 (6) of Act 66 of 2011 on the State Audit Office of Hungary stipulates: “The reports of the State Audit Office of Hungary and the findings and conclusions therein shall not be contested before courts or other authorities.”

So this procedure is as if a court announced a verdict without conducting a trial, evaluating evidence or hearing the affected parties and then the decision cannot be contested because the law deems this body infallible.

Fidesz is using the State Audit Office to financially ruin the strongest opposition party, which happens to be the governing party’s only realistic challenger in the upcoming elections.

 

Péter Schön, finance director