Chamber of Accounts
In Greece, the Chamber of Accounts (or Court of Accounts or Court of Auditors or Audit Court, French: Cour des Comptes , Greek: Ελεγκτικό Συνέδριο) is, at the same time, an administrative organ (one of the three Big Bodies of the greek Public Administration) and a Supreme Administrative Court with a special jursdiction (while the jurisdiction of the Council of State is general. Hence, its role is double-natured.
The Chamber of Accounts has a(n):
- advisory (consultative),
- auditing and
The Chamber of Accounts was created in 1833, just after the independence of Greece and it operates continuously since then.
The French Cour des Comptes constituted its model.
It is seated in a modern building in the centre of Athens.
The Chamber of Accounts comprises of:
- the President,
- 5 Vice-presidents,
- 20 Councillors,
- 40 Assistant Judges and
- 50 Reporting Judges.
They all have the status of a judge, according to the Constitution. In the posts of the Reporting Judges are appointed only graduates of the National School of Judges. The President and the Vice-presidents of the Chamber are chosen among its members by the Cabinet
As we have, already, mentioned, the Chamber has an advisory, auditing and judiciary competence.
Advisory (consultative) competence
The advisory (consultative) competence of the Chamber is exerted by:
- Consultory responses, attached to all bills, which regulate the bestowal of pensions by the State. This competence of the Chamber may be expanded to more issues with a legislative provision.
- Consultory responses on various issues, when demanded by the ministers.
This competence of the Chamber includes:
- The submission by the Chamber to the Parliament of the annual Report about the Balance of the State.
- The audit of any expenditure of the State or of the public entities.
- The supervision of all the civil servants, who are liable to render accounts.
- The observation of the public revenues.
- The audit and the control of the legality of the procedure of all public procurements and works, whose the value surpasses a certain amount of money.
The Chamber operates as a Supreme Administrative Court, whose the judicial decisions are final and irrevocable, when it judges in a Plenary Session the following cases:
- Disputes about the audit of the civil servants, who are liable to render accounts.
- Litigation arising from acts bestowing pensions, except for the pensions of the judges, according to a provision of the Constitution, reviewed in the constitutional amendment of 2001,
- Disputes about the liability of all the civil servants for any damage they caused to the State or to any public entity by fraud or gross negligence.
The litigant or the competent minister may exert in the Chamber the following legal remedies:
- appeal against personal administrative acts, including acts of auditing groups of the Chamber.
- writ of error against decisions of the Departments of the Chamber, judged by the Plenary Session.
- writ of revision, exerted for certain specific reasons and judged by the Plenary Session.