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    AIReF English

    “Our mission is to guarantee effective compliance of the financial sustainability principle by the General Goverment”

    Home » About Us

    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.

    PRESIDENCY

    Presidenta interna de la AIReF Cristina Herrero

    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 TEAM

    AIReF has four divisions made up of teams with extensive experience with which it aspires to meet the objectives entrusted to it through the publication of Reports, Opinions and Studies on a regular basis in its area of responsibility. The people who have joined the project have accumulated years of experience and technical knowledge in their respective specialities, which reinforces their ability to carry out the mission entrusted to them with independence and objectivity.

    AVAILABLE ONLY IN SPANISH

    ABOUT AIReF STAFF

    The personnel at the service of AIReF are, in general, career civil servants of the Public
    Administrations, although they may also be personnel from national or international organizations with economic, fiscal, budgetary or financial control or analysis functions. AIReF does not have temporary or “trusted” staff.

    The AIReF team is governed by:

    ANNUAL REPORT AND STRATEGIC PLAN

    AIReF has a Strategic Plan for the period 202-2026 that sets out the roadmap that AIReF president Cristina Herrero has drawn up for the next six years. The overall objective is to consolidate the institution and strengthen it as a useful instrument for society as a whole. To achieve this, AIReF will strengthen its supervision and evaluation work to ensure the efficiency and sustainability of public policies.

    AIReF also publishes an Action Plan each year and an Annual Report on Activities, which
    provides information on the activities carried out during each financial year.

    REGULATION

    AIReF was created within the framework of Organic Law 6/2013 of 14 November on the creation of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility, with the aim of ensuring strict compliance with the principles of budgetary stability and financial sustainability through the continuous assessment of the budget cycle, public borrowing and the analysis of economic forecasts.

    AIReF’s activity is governed by the institution’s Organic Statute approved by Royal Decree
    215/2014 of 28 March.

    SPANISH ORGANIC LAW 2/2012 OF 27 APRIL, ON THE BUDGET STABILITY

    SPANISH ORGANIC LAW 6/2013, OF 14 NOVEMBER, ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY FOR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

    SPANISH ROYAL DECREE 215/2014, OF 28 MARCH, APPROVING THE ORGANIC STATUTE OF THE INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY FOR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

    NETWORK OF EU IFIS

    The Network of EU Independent Fiscal Institutions was established in September 2015 following the ratification of the Bratislava Agreement. Currently, the Network of EU IFIs has a total of 32 members and is chaired by Richard van Zwol, President of the Dutch Council State. Sebastian Barnes, acting President of the Irish Fiscal Council, is the Vice-President.

    Participation in the EU IFI Network is voluntary and open to all EU IFIs. It aims to provide a platform for the exchange of views, experience and resources in areas of common interest. In addition, the Network has an EU Affairs Committee which aims to adopt positions on issues relating to relations with the EU institutions, including the EU fiscal framework.

    ADVISORY BOARD

    Consejo Asesor de la AIReF

    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.