Exercising Control

Parliament exercises control over the Executive power in that it seeks to obtain information that is subsequently made known to the public. This is intended to have political consequences and at the same time to give voters guidance for their decisions. In parliamentary systems of government, where the government is backed by the confidence of a majority of Members of Parliament, this control is first and foremost exercised by the opposition parties. Parliamentary control should not be confused with legal control, which is exercised by higher authorities and/or the courts.

Political Control

The National and Federal Councils have power to monitor the activities of the Federal Government and to interrogate its members on all matters of execution (right of interpellation). They can express their wishes regarding the exercise of executive power in resolutions (right of resolution). Only the National Council can establish investigating committees and pass a vote of no confidence. More

Legal Control

The National Council may bring suit against members of the Federal Government before the Constitutional Court for culpable violation of the laws in the conduct of their business (constitutional responsibility). More

Financial Control

The National Council approves the Federal Budget and exercises concomitant budgetary control. Its instrument of financial control is the Court of Audit, whose reports are placed before the National Council’s Court of Audit Committee for preliminary deliberation. Examinations may also be entrusted to the Standing Sub-Committee of the Court of Audit Committee. The Final Accounts prepared by the Court of Audit is submitted to the National Council for approval. More

The Court of Audit

The Court of Audit monitors, on behalf of the National Council, the financial management of the Federal Government, enterprises under its control and other entities. It reports to the National Council at regular intervals and can be entrusted with special audits. It draws up the Federal Final Accounts and a revenue report regarding public enterprises. More

The Ombudsman Board

The Ombudsman Board investigates alleged or suspected grievances and abuses on the part of the administration. Complaints may be made by anyone affected by a grievance against which another legal remedy is not, or no longer, available. The Ombudsman Board examines the circumstances and may make recommendations. It submits annual activity reports to the National and Federal Councils. More