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Swiss Federal Audit Office’s priorities for 2018

17 / 01 / 2018

Press release

The Federal Council has taken note of the annual programme of the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) for 2018. This programme is drawn up completely independently. It reflects a strategic focus on auditing complex items in the field. It also covers major financial and reputational risks for both the Confederation and our country’s taxpayers.

In 2018, the SFAO’s hundred or so employees will work on more than 160 audit mandates, ranging from audits of financial statements to public policy evaluations to reviews of the procurement of goods and services. About 60 audits will be published as a result of this work. This drive for transparency has been a priority for the institution since 2014.

The number of SFAO audits has tended to decline over the past decade, with the work involving more complicated items than before and concerning many players. This reflects growing complexity in the Confederation’s activities and the strategic focus intended by the SFAO’s management. This focus enables the SFAO’s teams to better target high reputational and financial risks for the Confederation and its taxpayers.

In 2018, these teams will make on-site visits to assess the Confederation’s key IT projects, to examine the acquisition of medicines in a handful of federal offices, and to assess the strategy of our country for the restitution of dictators’ assets. Outside the Federal Administration, various types of audits will be carried out at the SBB, Swiss Post, the armament company RUAG and Swisscom.

The annual audit programme will also focus on challenging issues such as the effectiveness of measures to reduce micro-pollutants in wastewater and the incentive system for surgical procedures. Reviews of construction projects and procurement and operating processes will also feature in the work of the SFAO’s employees.

In December 2017, the Federal Assembly confirmed its confidence in the SFAO’s work. It has maintained its resources for carrying out its mission of supreme financial supervision. Its budget for 2018 is CHF 27.6 million.