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Pressure on public finances has been substantial in recent years, despite welcome signs of economic recovery. People responsible for spending the taxpayers' money are under growing scrutiny and increasing pressure to "get it right" and invest the funds properly for the benefit of citizens. As former minister of finance and current budget Commissioner, I realise how difficult this task can be, as there is never enough money to address all urgent needs. That's why it is important for Member States to share experiences on control and audit systems which could improve transparency, accountability and ultimately ensure better spending.

It is therefore my pleasure to introduce to you the second edition of the Compendium on the public internal control systems being applied in EU Member States.

The Compendium is a comparative and structured inventory of the public internal control systems operated in EU Member States. A key objective of the first edition was to facilitate peer-to-peer learning thus contributing to good governance in the public sector. To help deliver this an EU-28 Network for Public Internal Control experts was established. It provides a platform at EU level to discuss and share experience on internal control and internal audit issues in the European public sector.

I am glad to say that the first edition received very positive feedback from professionals, in both the public and private sectors. This broad interest, plus Croatia's accession to the EU in 2013, together with many changes in the Member States are the main reasons for this update.

Let me again express my appreciation to all those involved in the compilation and delivery of this Compendium. I hope that this updated Compendium will continue to act as a catalyst for improving the overall quality of public internal control systems - an objective we all share.

Janusz Lewandowski
Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget