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The SFAO has doubts as to the lawfulness of a provision of CHF 2 billion

23 / 02 / 2018

Press release

After being informed by the Federal Administration on 23 January 2018, the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) briefly examined the idea of forming a provision of CHF 2 billion charged to the Confederation’s financing statement 2017.

An initial review of this transaction shows that it responds to a clear political desire on the part of Parliament and the Federal Council. It is an extension of the motion tabled by the Councillor of States Peter Hegglin, who is calling for the accounts to be drawn up in such a way that they reflect reality. The aim is to correct the current practice whereby the Confederation’s budget is prepared in accordance with the cash flow principle, i.e. receipts and expenditure. The SFAO is not opposed to this change in legislation, which would constitute harmonisation with the cantons. It would also simplify the presentation of the federal accounts, which today distinguish between a statement of financial performance with provisions and a financing statement and budget without provisions.

However, the SFAO notes that, as it stands, the Financial Budget Act makes provision for the financing statement to be drawn up on a cash flow basis and cannot include a provision. This question will be analysed in detail within the scope of the 2017 audit of the financial statements.

No additional information will be provided.