Court of Audit 2

Previously we argued that the members of a Court of Audit should be assigned by sortition or random selection to improve its independency from the government, which the Court has to monitor. In this part we will argue to charge Courts of Audit with another duty: supervision of Central Banks.

In most countries Central Banks are independent from direct political influence. The main argument for this independence is to prevent politicians from pursuing short-term interests (for instance to win elections) at the cost of long-term interests. Though this might be desirable, the back side is that modern central banks are too independent because a lack of accountability on part of the central banks.

Because the Court of Audit is unelected and hence not a politicized institution, it makes sense to charge this body with monitoring the Central Bank. The Court should have broad powers to conduct its inquiry, such as the right to hear central bank employees and unconditional access to all its documents. Any refusal to cooperate with the CoA will be a criminal offense.

The Court of Audit should regularly report to the public about the efficacy of the central bank’s policies. Though the CoA shall not have to power to dismiss member of the CB’s board – that power will be given to the financial chamber of the Court of Justice – the publicity arising from such investigation might be a powerful tool to keep central bankers in check.