Mandate of SAI
The scope of “State Audit” is defined in the Organic Act on State Audit B.E. 2561 (2018), that “all public finance of audited agencies are under the auditing power of SAO”. Therefore, SAO has the power to carry out a financial audit, financial report audit, and other types of audits as imposed by the law. SAO can also conduct government revenue auditing, revenue, expenditure, utilization, retention and management of money, asset, rights, and benefits of audited agencies or other relevant control or management of the audited agencies and audit the disbursement of money for intelligence purposes. The definition of “audited agencies” includes all central government agencies.
SAO is an independent agency under the Constitution. SAO, by AG, conducts state audits in accordance with the State Audit Policies and the State Audit Standard established by SAC. However, SAO is independent in performing the duties, even from the SAC. Therefore, SAIs are free from direction and interference in the selection of audit issues, planning, conducting, reporting and follow-up of their audits.
Furthermore, when performing an audit, SAO has power to scrutinize money and other assets, accounts, registration instruments, documents, or evidence of payment and other evidence under the audited agencies’ responsibility and shall have the following powers:
(1) to order the auditees or the officials of the audited agencies to explain the fact in written form or to give a statement and/or submit the account, registration instrument, document, or other evidence that the audited agencies has made or has possessed for the benefits of audit examination;
(2) to freeze the accounts, registration instruments, documents, or other evidence under the audited agencies’ responsibility as it deemed necessary for audit examination;
(3) to call for any person to give a statement or submit the account, registration instrument, document or other evidence relating to the audited agencies as it deemed necessary for the benefits of audit examination;
(4) to enter into any places, from sunrise to sunset or during an operating hour, for investigating, searching, freezing, or sequestering the account, registration instrument, document, or other evidence or freezing money or asset which is related to or ought reasonably to be related to the audited agencies as it deemed necessary.
Any person who obstructs SAO’s performance shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding six months or a fine of not exceeding ten thousand baht or both. Also, any person who possesses money or maintains assets, account, registration instrument, document, or other evidence had caused damage, destroyed, concealed, taken, lost, or degraded, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding five years or to a fine of not exceeding one hundred thousand baht or both.
Lastly, SAO normally prepares and submits the annual report on the performance of duties to the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Cabinet within 210 days from the end of the fiscal year. In the case of the protection of governmental benefits, SAO can also occasionally publish a report apart from the annual report.
The annual report shall demonstrate SAO’s major performance of duties in every aspect, particularly an outcome and efficiency of audited agencies’ expenditure unless the SAC esteems that it is necessary to keep such report in secret or it is prohibited to be disclosed by law.
After the submission, these reports must be disseminated to the public to show the overall compliance, efficiency and effectiveness of public finance management of audited agencies.