This research therefore underscores the limits of institutional design and constitutional engineering for improving the performance of government auditing. External factors, such as the functioning of the national system of fiscal control, the cycle of legislative accountability and the balance of political powers, matter greatly.
A critical and often dysfunctional link is that between the AAA and their main principal, the legislature, as mediated by the legislature’s public accounts committee. This functional relationship is particularly important in the monocratic and collegiate models of external auditing where the autonomous audit agency acts as an advisory body to the legislature, such as in Argentina. It is a crucial relationship to enforce ex post government accountability in financial matters through the annual certification of public accounts and the discharge of government.