UAE Accountability Authority: A Successor to the Supreme Audit Institution

December 26, 2023by Ajay Denny0

​​The Supreme Audit Institution in the UAE is being replaced by the UAE Accountability Authority. The new Authority will be instrumental in UAE’s effort to curb Bureaucratic corruption and offer improved protection and safeguards to whistleblowers. ​

Background

WAM (Emirates News Agency), the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reported on the ratification and issuance of a new Federal Decree Law establishing the UAE Accountability Authority replacing the Supreme Audit Institution as the principal authority for financial control, auditing, integrity and transparency in the UAE.

Objectives of the UAE Accountability Authority

Issued by the President, His Highness Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Authority, set up with the objective of maintaining and enhancing the integrity of public finances, will report directly to the country’s President.

Aimed at preserving public funds through supervising financial, accounting, and operations activities of entities subject to its oversight, the Federal Decree-Law regulates the UAE Accountability Authority’s functions to combat financial and administrative corruption, strengthen the risk management systems, optimize and limit its occurrence and to hold the perpetrators accountable.

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Role of the Authority

The functions of the Authority as highlighted in the Decree-Law include reviewing and auditing the Consolidated Annual Report of the Federal government and expressing an opinion on it in addition to undertaking audit engagements of entities subject to the control of the Authority as mandated by the applicable regulations.

Further, the Authority is also tasked with the responsibility of reviewing and undertaking administrative investigations into complaints and reports regarding any misappropriation of funds and assets belonging to regulated entities, conflicts of interest, misuse of authority, disclosure of official data and information, or exploitation of public office for personal gain or benefit to third parties.

Whistleblower protection and settlement

The Decree-Law also reinforces the protection of whistleblowers and includes a provision of an incentive, whether moral or financial, to any individual who provides substantial information leading to uncovering a financial and administrative corruption offense.

The Decree includes the procedures for granting exemption from prescribed penalties for individuals who, as collaborators or partners, report their involvement in such offenses before disclosure.

Furthermore, the Decree authorizes preserving the administrative investigation upon reaching a settlement resulting in the recovery of public funds, and the provision of information of public interest.

About ATB Legal

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by Ajay Denny

Ajay is a young ACCA Affiliate who is eager to take on challenging opportunities, pushing the status quo, thus helping make a positive impact on the Accounting Profession and the global community at large.

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