There are two types of administrative control: a prior control and a posterior control:
Paragraph A: Prior Administrative Control
The purpose of prior administrative control is to ascertain the validity of transactions and their conformity with the budget, and with established laws and regulations.
The prior administrative control of the Audit Court is an essential formality; any transaction not submitted to this control is considered unenforceable. The concerned officer is prohibited from putting it into effect, subject to the penalty specified in article 60 of the present decree-law.
I- Transactions subjected to prior administrative control:
Article 34: (as amended by article 25 of Act No. 286 of February 12, 1994 on the 1994 Budget)
Regarding revenues, the following transactions are subjected to prior administrative control:
1- any transaction regarding the auctioning of revenues, when it exceeds five million Lebanese pounds
2- any real estate sale transaction, when it exceeds five million Lebanese pound
Article 35: (as amended by article 42 of act No. 622 of March 7, 1997 containing the 1997 general budget)
Regarding expenditures, the following transactions are subjected to prior administrative control:
- Equipment and work deals exceeding 75 million Lebanese pounds.
- Service deals exceeding 25 million Lebanese pounds.
- Mutual agreement contracts, including lease contracts, exceeding 50 million Lebanese Pounds.
- Real estate purchases exceeding 100 million Lebanese pounds.
- Donations, subsidies, and contributions exceeding fifteen million Lebanese pounds.
Article 36: (as amended by article 25 of act No. 286 of February 12, 1994 containing the 1994 general budget)
Out-of-court settlements are subjected to prior administrative control, when the amount of the dispute exceeds 15 million Lebanese pounds.
II- Prior Control Procedures
The transaction and all related documents are submitted to the Audit Court, and a copy of the covering letter is filed with the public prosecutor's office by:
1- The party with jurisdiction to approve the transaction revenue.
2- The controller of expenditures at the public administrations, and the officer responsible for controlling these expenditures at the public institutions and municipalities.
The President of the Court assigns the transaction to the competent judge, according to the work distribution schedule. He may, in the cases specified by the distribution decision or when deemed necessary, examine the transaction himself.
Prior control is performed by the competent judge, who examines the transaction or refers it to one of the controllers working with him. The controller studies the transaction and reports on it. If the judge approves of it, he returns it with his signature; if he disapproves of it, the transaction is reexamined by a panel composed of a chamber President and two councilors, one of them being the judge who first examined the transaction.
Transactions on revenues or expenditures exceeding 500 thousand Lebanese pounds are subjected to prior control by a panel composed of a chamber President and two judges, one of them being the concerned judge.
In case, the Audit Court has no authority to exercise prior control, the decision shall be made by the above-mentioned panel.
The Court rules on a transaction within ten days from the submittal date. If there is a need to request documents or clarifications, or to hear the concerned officer, the Court is given five additional days from the reception date of the requested documents or clarifications.
These time limits do not include official holidays.
If the court does not rule on the transaction within the time limit, the administration may recall the transaction and disregard the opinion of the Court.
- Regarding a spending transaction, if the decision of the Court is different from the opinion of the Authority that is competent to approve the transaction, this authority must abide decision unless the Minister of Finance agrees to submit the dispute to the Council of Ministers.
- Regarding a spending transaction, if the decision of the court is different from the opinion of the controller of spending commitments, the controller must abide by the Court's decision unless the Minister of Finance agrees to submit the dispute to the Council of Ministers.
- If the decision of the court disapproves of the submitted project, the concerned administration may submit the dispute to the Council of Ministers.
The council of Ministers rules on the transactions submitted to it by motivated decisions, after hearing the President of the Court. If this decision is contrary to the opinion of the Minister of Finance or to the decision of the Court, it shall be a substitute for the seal of the court or the seal of the controller of expenditures.
In both cases, the decision of the Council of Ministers must be referred the transaction.
The court is informed of the decision of the Council Of Ministers. The Court may include the issue in its annual report, or in a special report, or in a special report to be submitted to the Chamber of Deputies.
If requested by the concerned administration, the President of the Court, or the Public Prosecutor's Office at the Court, the Court may reconsider a decision taken in the frame work of prior administrative control.
The reconsideration request is request is examined by the panel which issued the decision.
If not implemented during the fiscal year in which it was granted, the prior approval of the Audit Court is considered void.
Paragraph B: Posterior Administrative Control
The purpose of posterior administrative control is to evaluate financial transactions and their overall results, from the time they are concluded until the end of their execution and their entry into the accounts.
An annual report and special reports are prepared regarding the results of posterior administrative control.
I – Annual report
At the end of each year, the audit Court submits a report regarding the results of its control, with proposals to amend existing laws and regulations which have a financial impact.
The general Assembly of the Court approves this report, after hearing the public prosecutor.
The concerned agencies and administrations are notified of the annual report, and have to respond within one month.
The court may comment on these responses.
The annual report, the responses of the concerned agencies and administrations and the comments of the Court on these responses, are submitted to the President of the Republic by the President of the Audit Court.
Copies of the report, responses and comments are transmitted to the Chamber of Deputies for distribution to the deputies. Copies are also sent to the Civil Service Board and to the Central Inspection Administration.
The annual report, the responses of the concerned agencies and administrations and the comments of the court are published in the Official Gazette, and printed in a separate book to be distributed to administrations and agencies that are subject to the control of the Court.
When examining the annual report, the Parliament' Finance and Budget committee and all other concerned parliamentary committees hear the President of the Audit Court or his representative and, if necessary the representatives of the public administrations and the concerned agencies, in order to obtain the clarifications they need.
II – Special reports
When deemed necessary, the Court may submit to the President of Republic, to the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, to the Prime Minister, or to the concerned public administrations and agencies, special reports on specific issues, together with appropriate proposals.
III – Statements of Conformity:
The court issues, each year, a statement of conformity for each account submitted to its control, supported with documentary evidence, as specified by existing laws and regulations.
Statements of conformity are transmitted to:
- the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies for distribution to the deputies, and to the Minister of Finance if they pertain to the budget accounts, to the accounts of the annexed budgets, or to any budget requiring the approval of the Chamber of Deputies. The provisions of Article 51 of the present decree-law shall govern these statements.
- The Minister of Finance, the supervising minister, the concerned agencies, and the competent authority which approves the settlement of the budget accounts, requiring the approval of an authority other than the legislature.