Pursuant to Law n.º 9/2011, dated August 17 (which regulates the organic structure of the Chamber of Auditors of the Administrative and Fiscal High Court), the judges of the Court of Appeals ruled in plenary to approve Instructions on preliminary audit procedures.

Such Instructions in force as of 24 January, 2013 sanction and effect the preliminary audit procedure provided for by law, reinforcing a clear, coherent and efficient framework of control on public spending.

In addition to the formal requirements at a documentation and presentation level, to be followed by the entities subject to such control, we would like to highlight article 7. n.º 1 which, in respect to deferred and multi-annual budgetary expenses, meaning processes for which expenses are initiated in more than one economic year, or not initiated in the same year as the year of completion, including expenses that cause an increase of substantiated public debt, a statement of compromise will be required to the effect that in the Budget proposal or proposals impacted, funds for the corresponding expenses are earmarked.

This provision, presented as a guaranty of “temporal” and prudent use of public resources, to free future generations from such charges, does nevertheless raise the issues of how it will be applied by the Court in cases where expenses are deferred for several years. For example, Public- Private Partnerships (PPP) in which the public entity is not in a position to assume allocations towards future Budgets, other than contractually. This ruling is lacking in regards to time limits for decisions (article 18), but does, however, provide for the return of the original copies of the required documents and basis for the ruling, including a copy of the respective Verdict if the Process is presented to plenary.