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UAE Establishes New Accountability Standard with Federal Decree-Law

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UAE Establishes New Accountability Standard with Federal Decree-Law

In a significant move towards transparency and integrity in public finances, the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued Federal Decree-Law No. (56) of 2023, establishing the UAE Accountability Authority. Al Kabban & Associates explores the intricacies of this transformative legislation, shedding light on its functions, responsibilities, and the broader implications for financial control and transparency in the country.

Key Highlights

Reforming Financial Oversight: The UAE Accountability Authority, replacing the Supreme Audit Institution, marks a shift towards a more comprehensive approach to financial control, auditing, integrity, and transparency. It directly reports to President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, underlining its crucial role in upholding the highest standards of accountability.

Preserving Public Funds: The Federal Decree-Law outlines the multifaceted contributions of the Accountability Authority in preserving public funds. By supervising financial, accounting, and operational activities in entities under its oversight, the Authority aims to combat financial and administrative corruption, strengthen risk management systems, and hold perpetrators accountable.

Objectives and Functions: The Authority’s objectives include instilling integrity, accountability, transparency, and good governance in the Federal Government and relevant entities. Its functions encompass reviewing and auditing government reports, assessing internal control systems, setting policies on integrity, and combating corruption.

Responsibilities and Oversight

Efficiency Evaluation: The Authority takes on the responsibility of assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of internal control systems, ensuring adherence to laws, regulations, and good governance rules. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring the economic efficiency of financial and operational activities within government entities.

Implementation of Findings: Heads of entities under oversight, along with relevant ministers, are mandated to implement the findings of the Authority. The Decree stipulates a timeline for responses to the Authority’s findings, promoting swift actions in addressing identified issues.

Administrative Investigations: The Authority holds the power to conduct administrative investigations into complaints and reports related to misappropriation of funds, conflicts of interest, misuse of authority, and more. The procedures include preventive measures, controls, and initiatives to recover public funds.

Ensuring Accountability

Auditing Authority: Empowered to audit, examine, and review documents, data, reports, and electronic systems, the Authority ensures proper accounting and governance practices. It collaborates with relevant authorities and establishes procedures for conducting administrative investigations, including potential referrals to prosecution for criminal offenses.

Incentives and Exemptions: The Decree authorizes incentives, both moral and financial, for individuals providing substantial information on financial and administrative corruption offenses. It also outlines procedures for granting exemptions from penalties for collaborators or partners reporting their involvement in corruption prior to disclosure.

Conclusion

The establishment of the UAE Accountability Authority reflects the nation’s commitment to elevating standards of financial control and transparency. Al Kabban & Associates stand ready to navigate clients through these transformative changes, offering insights, guidance, and expertise through our expert legal consultants in Dubai, UAE.

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