From 22 to 29 September 2019, a six-member delegation of the Budgetary Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress visited Spain and Germany for a study tour on budgetary controlling. The delegation, led by Mr He Chenghun, General Director of the Department for Budgetary Audit and Financial Reporting, was made up of staff of the Legal Department, the Budgetary Control Department, of the Research Department, as well as the General Office. The study tour, which was organized and supported by the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme of the GIZ brought the delegation to institutions in Madrid, Bonn, Darmstadt, and Frankfurt.
The tour began with three appointments in Madrid with the highest bodies of the three state authorities: the Spanish Congress of Deptuties (Congreso de los Diputados), the Ministry of Finance, and the Court of Auditors (Tribunal de Cuentas). A further appointment brought the delegation to the Autonomous University of Madrid (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) where it took part in an expert discussion with Professor Martínez and Professor Diego of the Faculty of Legal Sciences.
While the appointment at the university enabled the delegation to become acquainted with the principles and legal foundations of budgetary law in Spain, the discussions at the state bodies addressed specific aspects in depth. Thus, at the Court of Auditors, the group was greeted by the executive department director of the Court President, Mr Pou and by Ms Nieto Martín for an exchange on the competences and organization of the court, as well as on the procedure of budgetary auditing. In the Ministry of Finance, the delegation met Cesar Veloso Palma, deputy director of the cabinet of the Ministry, as well as seven other members of the Ministry, for an expert discussion on the budgetary planning of the government and the compiling of the budget. In a meeting following this at the Congress of Deputies, the delegation was greeted by the members of the Budgetary Committee chaired by Mr Guijarro and Mr Meijón.
On arrival in Germany, the delegation’s first port of call was the Federal Competence Centre for Treasury and Accounting in Bonn (KKR), the central institution for the administration of the federal treasuries. In a discussion with president of the authority, Mr Christiansen, together with for other staff members, the delegation learned about specific aspects of the set-up, direction, and balancing of the federal treasuries, the technical processing of the federation’s transactions, as well as the financial reporting.
In Mainz the delegation took the opportunity to visit the State Parliament of Rhineland Palatinate, where they took part in an expert discussion with members of the Budgetary Committee of the State Parliament. In a talk with the Vice President of the State Parliament, Mr Bracht, the Chairman of the Budgetary and Financial Committee, Mr Wansch, and with the Committee members Mr Schweitzer and Ms Neidland, the delegation exchanged ideas on budgetary policy in the areas of education, agriculture, the environment, health and budgetary procedures, including the main focus of the budgetary control, the successfully implemented 2018 balanced budget amendment (“debt brake”), as well as a variety of measures to stimulate the economy of the state of Rhineland Palatinate.
The tour concluded with two appointments in Hesse. First, the delegation came to the State Court of Auditors for an expert discussion with Andreas Rüdinger, Head of Department of the Auditing Department III, on auditing in the state of Hesse and the cooperation with the State Parliament. The group then travelled to Eschborn to the headquarters of the GIZ for an exchange with Ms Noussi and Ms Popzov from the Risk Management group of the Executive Department for Corporate Development on the auditing of expenses and the monitoring of the budgets of state-owned companies in Germany.