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Local Government Auditing in Germany

René Geissler (Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau, Germany)

Auditing Practices in Local Governments: An International Comparison

ISBN: 978-1-80117-086-4, eISBN: 978-1-80117-085-7

Publication date: 15 June 2022


Auditing is a traditional function in the German system of local public finance. Its’ basic mission is to control local finances for accuracy, to avoid misuse of public resources and to support local councils. The priority of auditing is the annual financial statement and accounting, still. Performance is of limited relevance. Given the federal setting of 13 territorial states, the system is complex and fragmented. Another German peculiarity is a parallel structure of financial supervision executed by different public bodies having a particular focus on balanced budget and debt. Local auditing, generally, organises in a two-level structure. The lower level is part of the respective local government, the higher-level is part of the state administration. Beyond this basic setting, there are manifold structural options in place lacking transparency and a clear separation of duties. Private involvement in local auditing is very limited. Legislation guarantees independence of auditing with regard to personal independence, autonomy in auditing issues and methods. Local auditing faces several challenges, as local governments do. However, there is no sound discussion on reforms.



Geissler, R. (2022), "Local Government Auditing in Germany", Ferry, L. and Ruggiero, P. (Ed.) Auditing Practices in Local Governments: An International Comparison (Emerald Studies in Public Service Accounting and Accountability), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 73-82.



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Copyright © 2022 René Geissler