The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions seems to share similar concerns with Cyprus’ Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides who argues his authority is being questioned by the government.
In a reply letter to Michaelides this week, INTOSAI has expressed concern over the restriction imposed by the government on the Audit Office’s right of access to information and documents.
This is in regard to the controversial issue of the now abolished citizenship by investment scheme.
INTOSAI also noted that the restriction, even temporary, is contrary to the spirit of the Lima and Mexico Declarations regarding the independence of Supreme Audit Institutions.
The response letter has been sent by the Audit Office to Opposition Akel MP Irene Charalambides in her capacity as Special Representative on Fighting corruption at OSCE (Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe) Parliamentary Assembly.
A month ago, Michaelides reported Nicosia to the International Orgnaisation and had requested the intergovernmental organization whose members are supreme audit institutions to step in.
Michaelides’ decision to publish findings relating to the scheme despite him being advised to stop looking into the matter was the latest’s ‘inappropriate action’ – according to the government.
The government had also left open the possibility of legal action to be taken against him for overstepping the bounds of his office.
Legal action on the grounds of conduct unbecoming has the sole intent of terminating an independent official’s time in office.