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26 July 2022

NAO adopts a new Code of Ethics

ZKA Lajmi BB

In addition to the audit work and other activities, the Auditor General has adopted the new Code of Ethics and Conduct, which includes the values and principles that the NAO staff must comply with while carrying out their constitutional and statutory duties and responsibilities.

Ethical behaviour is a key component for Supreme Audit Institutions in building a good reputation and earning the trust of the citizens, auditees and civil society. In order to inspire reliability and credibility on the staff of the National Audit Office, a code of ethics built on the values and principles of the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions is a prerequisite for preserving the reputation during the work activities of the staff of the National Audit Office.

The Code is built in four parts: Ethical values and principles; Rules of conduct; Risks and protection measures; and Ethics monitoring.

The Code of Ethics is an important document serving as a guide for the continuously improved professional behaviour and increased professional and moral integrity in the common journey of contributing to sustainable success.

This Code aims at avoiding actions and behaviour that are subjective, biased or selective and not based on the basic principles of auditing.

The ethical principles that NAO staff must comply with are: Integrity, Independence and objectivity, Competence, Professional behaviour, and Transparency. This documents gives, inter alia, specific elements and examples of behaviour should the NAO staff ever face any ethics dilemma.

Moreover, the Code provides the necessary instructions on how to preserve these values and principles in everyday work as well as in special situations that may arise.

The code also provides individual and institutional protective and preventive measures to avoid the risk of unethical behaviour, such as: prevention of conflict of interest; audit staff rotation policies; gifts and hospitality; reporting procedures, etc.

In order to reduce ethical risks, the Ethics and Conduct Committee has an advisory, monitoring, pedagogical and reporting function with regard to this Code.

This Code is intended for all the staff, auditors and those who work for, or on behalf of, the National Audit Office who are in any way involved in audit engagements.

The Code of Ethics and Conduct is a requirement under the Law no.05/L-055 on the Auditor General and the National Audit Office of the Republic of Kosovo, article 16, and is based on the requirements arising from the Lima Declaration, Mexico Declaration and the ISSAI 12 and 130, which set forth the responsibility of the supreme audit institution to develop its own code and apply it with high standards of integrity and ethics.