Since 1874 the General Comptroller of the State Administration (IGAE) has carried out two essential functions in Public Finance, that is, for the management of public funds obtained through the tax system from taxpayers: governmental control (in terms of internal control reporting to the Executive Branch but not each management centre, but rather the Government that directs the Administration itself and as far as its administrative power reaches) and public accounting as a management centre (direct management of the accounting for Ministries; drafting of the General State accounts which the Government provides to the Court of Auditors and subsequently to Parliament) and as a regulatory body (accounting regulations and directives for all public entities). Very few institutions of the Spanish Administration have such a long history of exercising two functions that are so essential to the State's operation. Said functions have been performed continuously and have progressively, consistently improved at the service of Spanish Public Finance, and, ultimately, of society and the citizens.
As a supervisory agency, the IGAE is responsible for verifying, through previous monitoring of legality and financial control and public audits, that the state public sector's economic and financial activity complies with the principles of legality, economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
As a centre for the management of public accounts, it is responsible for providing reliable, complete, professional and independent accounting information about public management. In this regard, it is responsible for drafting the public sector’s financial accounts according to the methodology of the European System of National Accounts, the most specific result of which is the determination of the public deficit, which is essential to the nation’s economic life. It calculates the deficit for both the General Government and each of its sub-sectors (Central Administration, Regional Governments, Local Entities and Social Security).
Since 1989 the IGAE has also been responsible for controlling the correct use of funds received by the beneficiaries of subsidies and public grants. In this regard, the actions included within its scope of responsibility include those arising from the exercise of control over European funds, particularly in terms of the exercise of audit authority in accordance with Community regulations and with the recognition and accreditation of such position by Community authorities in those programmes in which IGAE has said status.
Furthermore, since 1996 it has been the Centre responsible for the planning, design and execution of information technology policy for the State Secretariat for Budgets and Expenditure.
All of these functions are exercised and carried out with functional autonomy and professional independence, which is fundamentally supported through the training and integrity of the civil servants who make up the two Corps that were also essentially established from their beginnings to perform these tasks in a specialised manner: the Senior State Comptrollers and Auditors Staff and the Technical Auditing and Accounting Staff. These two groups receive essential support from high-level and technical IT civil servants and all other civil service and other personnel who work in this Centre.
Notwithstanding these characteristics of autonomy and independence, from its beginning, for administrative, budgetary and organisational purposes, the General Comptroller of the State Administration has also been affiliated with the Ministry of Finance as an Administrative Centre (with the rank of Under-Secretariat since 1996), and is currently affiliated with the Under-Secretariat, as a model for the performance of these functions in the management of Public Finance.
The organisation promotes an internal culture that encourages continuous improvement, teamwork, and personnel involvement as key elements to increase effectiveness, efficiency and the quality of our work and to reinforce transparency in the management of public funds.
Through the following links, you can access a variety of information from other supervisory agencies such as the General Comptrollers of the Regional Governments, as well as agencies from EU Member States and Ibero-American countries with similar functions.