Financial accountability is closely related to legal rules, e.g. to the legal framework for the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and for the implementation of the EU budget laid down in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), and to the regulations governing EU funding programs. However, even if this legal framework at first view seems to be dense, the practical work of financial accountability institutions is not legally regulated in detail. Audit institutions have considerable discretion when it comes to defining their audit work. For example, legal rules do not govern how to select the programs and projects to be audited more closely and how to carry out the audits.This paper discusses how legal rules, internal rules defined by audit institutions, professional standards and case-by-case discretion interact and overlap in the regulation of auditing and financial accountability in the EU.
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