“It is an absolute necessity to concentrate the ex ante and ex post audit in an irremovable judge” Camillo Benso Earl of Cavour (Ministry of Finance), 1852
In the newly established Kingdom of Italy, on August 14, 1862 the Corte dei conti was established with the aim of auditing State administrations in order to prevent and avoid waste of money and unsound management. It mainly had the power to audit the management of public funds and to audit public accountants who had to render accounts.
In 1948, the Corte dei conti was introduced into the constitutional system of the Italian Republic as an “auxiliary body” of the State.
The functions of the Corte dei conti have developed during these decades in order to follow the evolutions of the State: the creation of Regions; their increased legislative competences; several reforms of the budget of the State, Regions and other public bodies; the new fiscal governance of the European Union; etc.
The Corte dei conti continuously updates and adapts its functions in accordance with the growing request for carrying out both efficient audits and an accurate jurisdiction of liability in order to increase the transparency of the administration, guarantee the sound management of public resources, to improve the quality of services provided to citizens.
Article 100 of the Italian Constitution
The Corte dei conti exercises preventive control over the legitimacy of Government measures, and also ex-post auditing of the administration of the State Budget. It participates, in the cases and ways established by law, in auditing the financial management of the entities receiving regular budgetary support from the State. It reports directly to the Houses on the results of audits performed. The law ensures the independence from the Government of the two bodies and of their members.
Article 103 of the Italian Constitution
The Court of Auditors has jurisdiction in matters of public accounts and in other matters laid down by law.