The Audit Committee does that
On Tuesday, the Audit Committee discussed the Corona leaks. But what exactly does a business audit commission do?
Published: 6 minutes ago
Updated: 2 minutes ago
The corona leaks surrounding Federal Councilor Alain Berset give things to talk.
In the last few weeks, the Corona leaks have caused a stir in the media – but also in politics. Loudly it was demanded that the transfer of information from the interior department to the Ringier line must be investigated. Even Federal Councilor Alain Berset (50), who otherwise held back with any comments and referred to the separation of powers, finds the political investigation “a good thing.”
The control committees of the National Council (GPK-N) and the Council of States (GPK-S) are responsible for such political investigations. However, they not only check current cases such as the Corona leaks, but are always there to keep an eye on the executive (Federal Council and administration) and the federal companies. For example, they examine the annual report of the Federal Council every year.
Trust is good, control is better
Like other parliamentary commissions, the GPK is made up of members of the respective council. The parties can choose who will represent them in the GPK according to their size.
The GPK members examine everything based on three criteria:
- Legality: In other words, whether decisions and measures comply with the constitution, laws and regulations or international law.
- expediency: Are the measures actually suitable for achieving the desired goal?
- Effectiveness: Does the effect of a measure meet the set goal?
The purpose of the control body is to create transparency and to detect grievances at an early stage. For this purpose, a GPK collects information and can invite administrative representatives to hearings.
Individual tasks are distributed to sub-commissions. These subcommittees are each responsible for controlling two departments. Special cases such as the “corona leaks” can also be transferred to working groups. The working group on the “Corona Leaks” was designed in the same way as the business audit delegation (GPDel). The GPDel was founded in 1992 after the «Fichen affair».
The GPDel has far-reaching powers: it has access to confidential documents, for example those that the Federal Council used in decision-making. You can also question witnesses. The working group that has now been set up may ask the GPDel to examine such confidential documents for them.
Recommendations, not instructions
A GPK is a purely political body, because although it is free to decide what to look at more closely, it is not allowed to issue instructions. The GPK merely adopts recommendations. Or she can launch an initiative, which is then dealt with quite normally in Parliament.
The introductory guide for new members emphasizes that the GPK makes assessments with a “certain reluctance”. The GPK members are subject to official secrecy. (tom)
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