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The President of the Republic promulgated the State Audit Office Act and Local Government Organisation Act Amendment Act

President Arnold Rüütel today at Kadriorg signed a resolution to promulgate the State Audit Office Act and Local Government Organisation Act Amendment Act passed by the Riigikogu on May 11, 2005.

Signing the resolution, the Head of State noted that the extension of the State Audit Office's authority, resulting from this amendment, has caused many different opinions in the society. "From one hand, we understand that there is a necessity to exercise control over the public sector's assets in order to assure the legality and effectiveness of their use. From the other hand, if the State Audit Office were given the authority to exercise control over the local governments, it might create a possibility for restricting the autonomy of local governments and lessen their actual responsibility to resolve and manage the local issues independently," the President of the Republic said.

In the words of President Rüütel, it is important to facilitate the strengthening of economical and responsible way of thinking among local governments. "Even if the central government had more influence over local governments, the local government would nevertheless remain the most citizen-centered level of governance. The quality of living environment of people and the level of their social safety depends directly on the activity of the local government. Therefore I consider that in order to facilitate the fulfilment of duties imposed on a local government pursuant to law, it is necessary to organise already before the elections to the councils of local governments a discussion on the role and possibilities of local governments and their balanced relations with the central government," the president of the Republic said.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, May 31, 2005

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