About Us

The Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AIReF) is an Independent Administrative Authority (Spanish acronym: AAI) with its own legal personality and full public and private capacity. It carries out its functions autonomously and independently from the General Government and acts objectively, transparently and impartially. Its official name is “Autoridad Independiente de Responsabilidad Fiscal, AAI”, although in its public activity it also uses the name of Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility or AIReF indistinctly.

OUR MISSION AND VALUES

MISSION

The purpose of AIReF is to oversee the sustainability of public finances as a means for ensuring the economic growth and well-being of Spanish society in the medium and long-term.

Its mission is to ensure that the General Government effectively complies with the budget stability principle provided for in Article 135 of the Spanish Constitution through ongoing monitoring of the budget cycle, public borrowing and the sustainability of public finances. The institution is also responsible for endorsing, or not, the Government’s macroeconomic outlook. In addition, it performs evaluations of the public spending of any General Government sub-sector that so requests.

AIReF is a young public institution which began operating in 2014, but in just a few years it has built a reputation for objectivity, independence and transparency in its analyses and work.

AIReF’s professional and highly experienced Team strives to achieve the objectives set by publishing regular Reports, Opinions and Studies within the scope of its responsibility, which covers the entire General Government (GG).

AIReF’s remit has an impact on key elements of the General Government as a whole. It therefore profoundly affects decisions relating to the public accounts and the main spending and investment headings, such as Education, Healthcare and Public Works, as well as Revenue.

Its work is reflected in Recommendations under the Comply or Explain principal, which means that the various General Government sub-sectors must respond publicly to AIReF when they are the subject of a Recommendation, to comply with it or, failing that, to justify why they do not implement it.

This way of relating with the General Government involves an ongoing exercise in transparency and communication through the institution’s website and other dissemination channels.

Most comparable countries have Independent Fiscal Institutions (IFIs) in order to have an independent body that oversees the sustainability of public finances. Their weight in fiscal governance at a European level is increasingly significant.

AIReF is part of the EU Independent Fiscal Institutions Network.

VALUES

AIReF was set up as an institution with a duty to fulfil its mission on the basis of three key principles: Independence, Transparency and Accountability.

Independence

AIReF operates with full organic and functional independence in order to carry out its purpose. Such independence is the prerequisite for the success of its mission. Neither the President nor the members of its governing bodies or any other member of AIReF’s staff may request or accept instructions from any public or private entity.

Transparency

AIReF sees Transparency as the commitment to provide the public with all the relevant information on its analyses, as well as the basis for such analyses, in an open, clear and timely manner. The Institution will disclose the methodology and criteria underpinning its Reports, Opinions and Studies in collaboration with the different General Government sub-sectors and international organisations.

Accountability

Accountability is the third key element in AIReF’s activity. In addition to the President reporting at least once a year to Parliament, attendance at other parliamentary hearings is also provided for as part of a communication policy that reinforces this accountability in an open and ongoing manner. AIReF is subject to regular external evaluation not only of its institutional reports, but also of its own governance and organic structure and even its mandate. Its accounts are also subject to review by the General State Comptroller (Spanish acronym: IGAE) and the Spanish Court of Auditors.

OUR ACTIVITY

REPORTS, OPINIONS AND STUDIES

AIReF operates under a commitment to be fully transparent in its actions and activities and offers a schedule for its Publications. AIReF’s core activity is the preparation of Reports, Opinions and Studies on the matters covered by the Organic Law establishing the institution. In addition, it will draw up an Annual Report which will be widely publicised and disseminated. If you would like to access our Document Centre, you may do so by clicking on this link.

OPINIONS

Opinions formulated at AIReF’s own initiative

REPORTS

Reports issued ex officio by AIReF or at the request of a General Government sub-sector

STUDIES

Studies commissioned to AIReF by a General Government sub-sector

THE TEAM

Sede de la AIReF

RIGOR AND EXPERIENCE

AIReF’s staff are its main asset. All the people who have joined the project have extensive experience and technical knowledge in their respective fields of specialisation, making them well prepared to carry out their remit independently and objectively.

Our Organisation is highly flexible and horizontal so as to allow know-how and information to be shared between its different divisions.

This is key to enabling us to share experiences and strengthen our methodologies and capacity for analysis.

PRESIDENCY AND ORGANIZATION

Cristina

Cristina Herrero was appointed President of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AIReF) by Royal Decree 439/2020 of March 3rd, after receiving the unanimous vote in favour of all the Parliamentary Groups.

She had already taken on the interim presidency of the institution as from January 13th, 2020.

Cristina Herrero has been part of AIReF’s management team since its foundation. She became Director of the Budgetary Analysis Division in 2014, thus becoming the first female head of one of the institution’s main functions as a guarantor of budgetary stability and the sustainability of public finances.

The President of AIReF is appointed by the Council of Ministers on a proposal from the Minister for Finance. Prior to the appointment, the nominee must appear before the corresponding Parliamentary Committee, which must endorse the proposal by an absolute majority. Should the Committee fail to accept the nominee within 15 days, a

majority vote cast by the corresponding Senate Committee would suffice to endorse the candidate.

The President is appointed for a non-renewable six-year term of office and is responsible for leading and coordinating all of our teams. The President’s functions also include appearing before Parliament at least once a year in order to report on the Institution (Article 24 of the Organic Statute of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility).

The Organic Law on the Establishment of AIReF gives the President wide-ranging responsibilities in relation to the organisation and governance of the institution and decision-making in all matters falling within its remit.

The President will lead a Steering Committee comprising four directorates, one for each of the four divisions into which AIReF has been organised: Budgetary Analysis, Economic Analysis, Public Spending Evaluation and Legal Affairs.

The Presidency has a Technical Cabinet and a small team to coordinate the work of the different divisions and carry out an open communication policy that provides the public with direct access to AIReF’s work.

The President of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility acts with full independence and objectivity as AIReF’s legal representative, directs and coordinates the activities of all its management bodies, exercises the most senior leadership over all staff, signs contracts and agreements and makes spending and payment orders. The President’s functions are set out in Article 25 of Organic Law 6/2013 of November 14th, 2013, on the establishment of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility, and in Article 25 of the Organic Statute of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility.

In addition, the President frequently participates in various national and international forums and conferences.

The President of AIReF is appointed by the Council of Ministers on a proposal from the Minister of Finance. Prior to the appointment, however, the nominee must appear before the corresponding Commission of Congress, which shall endorse the candidacy by an absolute majority. Should the Commission fail to accept the nominee within 15 days, a simple majority vote cast by the competent Commission of the Senate would suffice to endorse the candidate.

The President of AIReF is appointed  for a non-renewable six-year term of office and is responsible for leading and coordinating all of our teams. His duties also include appearing before Parliament at least once a year to report to it on the institution and its activities (Article 24 of the Organic Statute of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility).

The organic law under which AIReF was created gives the President wide-ranging responsibilities relating to the organisation and governance of the institution and decision- making in all matters within the scope of its competences.

The President has a Technical Cabinet and a reduced staff to coordinate the work of the different divisions and carry out an open communication policy that provides the public with direct access to the work of the AIReF. His duties are listed in Article 25 of Organic Law 6/2013 of 14 November, on the establishment of an Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility and in Article 25 of the Organic Statute of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility.

The President of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility acts with total independence and objectivity as AIReF’s legal representative, directs and coordinates the activities of all its management bodies, exercises the most senior leadership over all staff, signs contracts and agreements and makes spending and payment orders.

PRESIDENTS OF AIREF

Cristina Herrero. President. March 2020
José Luis Escrivá. President February 2014-January 2020

AIReF is organised around four main areas:

The AIReF team is governed by:

OUR ACTIVITY

AIReF works under a commitment to be fully transparent in its actions and activities, offering a schedule for its Publications. The focus of all AIReF activities is the preparation of Reports, Opinions and Studies on the matters contemplated in the Spanish Organic Law creating the organisation. In addition, it will draft an Annual Report which will be widely publicized and disseminated. If you would like to access our Documentation Centre, you may do so by clicking on this link.

REPORTS

The Reports issued are those provided for by the Law.

OPINIONS

Opinions formulated at the initiative of AIReF

STUDIES

Studies commissioned to AIReF by a Public Administration

ADVISORY BOARD

Advisory Board

The Organic Law on the establishment of AIReF (6/2013) states that the President may be advised on the performance of his functions by experts in the areas within his competences. The advisory Board has deliberative and advisory competences only.

On March 2021, the Advisory Board has been renewed and, currently is made up of nine experts acknowledged in Spain and internationally in the fields of economic, budgetary, and institutional analysis. Members of the Advisory Board have been appointed for a two-year term renewable for successive periods.