New Law In UAE Establishing Financial Audit Authority
In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued Law No. (4) of 2018 regarding the establishment of the Financial Audit Authority (FAA); and Decree No. (14) appointing Deputy Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as President of the Authority. Sheikh Mohammed also issued Decree No. (15) appointing HE Abdullah Mohammad Saeed Ghobash as Director General of the Authority. The Law and the two Decrees are effective from their date of issuance and will be published in the official gazette.
The Financial Audit Authority is tasked with controlling public funds, and its spending and management. The Authority also seeks to ensure that departments under the purview of this Law spend public funds efficiently and effectively. In addition, the FAA is tasked with ensuring and enhancing high levels of accountability and sound management practices within these entities and departments; and creating a conducive environment for control and risk management while ensuring high levels of transparency and integrity. The Authority is also tasked with making sure that administrative decisions and processes conform to Dubai’s regulations and its high standards of transparency and integrity.
The Law defines the responsibilities of the Authority, which include reviewing and auditing unified financial statements, issuing regulations that govern the preparation and presentation of financial statements and reports and The General Final Account of the Government. The Authority is also responsible for investigating any financial or administrative irregularities discovered by the FAA or entities under its control, identifying the reasons behind it and taking appropriate action. It is also tasked with verifying complaints, data and information received by the Authority about potential financial abuses committed in entities under the FAA’s control.
The FAA is also responsible for providing financial and accounting expertise to entities under its control when assigned such tasks by the Dubai Ruler or the FAA President, or as per requests from government entities. It is also tasked with ensuring that entities under the FAA’s control comply with regulations and policies; verifying the calculation and collection of public revenues and financial returns from the provision of services; ensuring that banks operating in Dubai adhere to regulations; and making sure that fees, prices, taxes, sales revenues, profits, etc. are correctly calculated as per the provisions of the regulation.
The Authority is also tasked with providing comments and views on The General Final Account of the Government and developing reports for presentation to the Ruler in order for actions to be taken before the deadline for approval. In addition to providing recommendations for improving the performance of government and related authorities, the FAA is also tasked with following up on the collection of revenues accrued from fines for financial and administrative violations, as well as reviewing work processes and identifying gaps in oversight that have led to violations, and finding ways of addressing them.
The FAA is also responsible for providing a direct channel for customers of authorities under its control to submit complaints related to financial and administrative violations and taking necessary action in response to such complaints. The Authority is also tasked with conducting research and studies that will help in enhancing financial and administrative integrity; creating a record of financial and administrative violations; and recommending solutions to address them, apart from organising forums for discussing the enhancement of transparency and integrity.
According to the Law, FAA, through its Director General, is authorised to seek clarification from any official of the entities under the FAA about data and information related to any violation that has been committed in that entity. These officials are required to fully collaborate with the Authority in this regard.
The Law specifies the procedures for the appointment of the President and Director General of the Authority, and their functions and duties, as well as the supervisory work that will be carried out by the Authority with regard to financial control and compliance. It is responsible for monitoring procedures for performance management as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of control systems. The FAA is tasked with monitoring and reviewing various control systems, ensuring the safety of procedures, identifying shortcomings and recommending ways to address them.
The provisions of this Law shall not override the jurisdiction of the Dubai Electronic Security Center which was established under Law No. (11) of 2014, and is tasked with ensuring the security of government data and government systems. The FAA is authorised to monitor data security and information systems of non-government entities and entities that are under the FAA.
According the Law, if any person attempts to obstruct the work of the FAA, the Director General of the FAA or an assigned employee is authorised to take the necessary actions for safeguarding the documents being reviewed and audited, and seek help of relevant authorities including police to ensure its work is not impeded.
As per the law, employees will be held accountable for any financial and administrative violations and irregularities committed by them, even after the end of their service. They will also be subject to legal actions resulting from these violations. The resignation of an employee who is under investigation will not be accepted until the end of the investigation and its final ruling.
The FAA is authorised to liaise with federal, regional, and international authorities, sign agreements with external organizations, and become a member of regional and international organisations.
All the rights and obligations of the Financial Audit Department will be transferred to the FAA. All employees working in the Department will be transferred to the FAA on the date on which the new Law becomes effective. All the rights of the employees will be retained.
Apart from this Law or any other Law issued by the Ruler of Dubai, or the FAA President, the Director General of the Authority is authorised to issue decisions required to implement the new Law. This Law will replace Law No. (8) of 2010 pertaining to the Financial Audit Department and its amendments. The new Law annuls any legislation that contradicts it.
The regulations, decisions and instructions issued pursuant to Law No. (8) of 2010 shall continue to apply to the extent that they do not conflict with the provisions of this Law until the issuance of the regulations, resolutions and instructions that replace them.
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