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What types of audits does the SFAO perform?

The SFAO generally performs two types of audits: formal and material. In a formal audit, the SFAO checks whether the reports are complete and submitted within the deadline. In a material audit, it checks whether the content of data and documents is correct, and whether the stated sources of receipts, benefits and amounts are correct and complete. Material audits are conducted by means of random sampling, and can also take place on site.

For campaigns subject to the reporting requirement, the audit takes place within 15 days after the data has been submitted. In complex cases, the audit can also take place after the 15-day deadline.

In the case of party funding and funding of non-party members of parliament, the data must be submitted by 30 June of the subsequent calendar year. The associated audits take place by 31 August at the latest.

The SFAO has no investigative powers and does not issue orders. If the SFAO finds that certain data or documents were submitted late, incomplete, incorrectly, or that the content is incorrect, the SFAO sets a deadline for retrospective reporting. If the required data and documents are not reported by the retrospective reporting deadline, or if they have defective content, the SFAO is obliged to refer this to the prosecution authorities as a potential criminal offence.

The SFAO does not disclose the politicians against whom it may have filed criminal charges. The principle of the presumption of innocence applies. In the event of a legally binding conviction, the SFAO makes a note in the report register.

The SFAO publishes a list of political actors who have been subject to a material audit. It is not authorised to provide information on the audit findings. It does not comment on ongoing audits.