In its work ARPA cooperates with many bodies included in the system of managing EU programmes and other bodies as well. In particular, here we can stress the cooperation of ARPA with Directorate for harmonisation of internal audit and financial controls (herein after: the Central Harmonisation Unit) within the Ministry of Finance and involvement of ARPA into the AFCOS network.
Cooperation with Central Harmonisation Unit
Relations between internal audit and the Agency for the Audit of European Union programmes Implementation System arises from the fact that both of them perform auditing of the same system.
However, since internal audit functions within the system, i.e. in bodies responsible for implementation of EU programmes, while the Agency acts as an external audit out of the system, there are differences in their scope of work and in their reporting lines. Internal audit set up within bodies responsible for implementation of EU programmes performs auditing of the part of systems and processes existing within a certain body. During the assessment of management and control systems, the Agency, inter alia, performs assessing, i.e. auditing of the internal audit work which presents as a constituent part overall management and control systems. In the course of auditing IPA programmes, the Agency is auditing the function of the internal audit as a key element of internal control environment, particularly the function of the internal audit in certain bodies in the context of IPA programme.
The role of ARPA in the AFCOS system
In order for the competent bodies to be able to act in a timely manner in the case of a reported suspicion of irregularity or another corruptive act, the AFCOS Network as an element of the AFCOS system has been established by a Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. If the Department considers that follow up by bodies from the AFCOS network is necessary in a concrete case, it will arrange a meeting with all representatives of the bodies from the AFCOS network and the irregularity officer who has submitted the irregularity report, with the aim of establishing the competences for follow up in the concrete case. Presently, bodies in the AFCOS network are cooperating with the Department, meetings are held continuously, but a deadline for undertaking appropriate actions and reporting to the Department on the progress achieved is not defined. If Audit Authority auditors during the auditing activities detect or suspect irregularities, they immediately stop the audit and inform the Director of Audit Authority of the suspected irregularity or fraud, who then informs the Head of Operating Structure, i.e. the Director of the Implementing Body.