Legal mandate

The SFAO's activities benefit both decision-makers and citizens. It contributes to an efficient and economical public administration. Its status, tasks and powers are defined in the Federal Act on the Swiss Federal Audit Office.

As the Confederation’s supreme financial supervisory body, the SFAO conducts its audits independently within the framework of the statutory provisions. In doing so, it pursues a risk-oriented approach in accordance with the criteria of regularity, legality and economic efficiency laid down in the Federal Audit Office Act. On this basis, the SFAO defines its audit programme, which is submitted to the Federal Council and the Finance Delegation. In administrative terms, the SFAO is attached to the Federal Department of Finance, but is not subordinate to it.

The SFAO is headed by a Director. He or she is elected by the Federal Council for a term of office of six years, and Parliament then approves their election. The term of office may be extended.

The Director may make independent decisions on the appointment of personnel. The SFAO’s budget is approved by Parliament; the Federal Council does not comment on it. If the SFAO requires special expertise in order to fulfil its tasks, it can call in external experts.

More detailed information on this and much more can be found in the annual report.