Since his accession to power in 1970, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Saidpaid utmost attention to external oversight through an independent auditmechanism . Over a span of more than four decades now, it has witnessed severalphases of development and modernization as shown below:
Financial Audit started after the Renaissance in 1970 as a minor department under the Directorate General of Finance. Its role was limited to pre-audit of payment vouchers.
In 1974, Royal Decree No. 6/74 annexed the above mentioned minor department to the Ministry of Royal Court Affairs as of 12/2/1974. Its prerogatives included auditing the administrative organs of the State and training their staff to enhance their performance. It issued its audit reports at the beginning of 1975.
In 1975, Royal Decree No. 26/75 issued the Law on the Organization of State Administrative Apparatus and the Audit Department became under the Ministry Royal Court Affairs. In 1981, Royal Decree No. 24/81 endorsed the organizational structure of that Ministry and upgraded the minor department to a Directorate General. Royal Decree No. 65/83 made it under the direct supervision of His Excellency the Minister of the Royal Court Affairs.
On 10/3/1985, Royal Decree No. 36/85 issued the first regulation on auditing State accounts. The regulation laid down the audit objectives, jurisdiction, prerogatives, procedures, auditees and periodical and annual reports to be issued by the Directorate General.
Later on 3/1/1989, the name of the Directorate General for Auditing Accounts was changed to the Secretariat General for Auditing Accounts pursuant to Royal Decree No. 129/91. Royal Decree No. 129/91, while promulgating State Audit Law, changed the name again to the Secretariat General for State Audit.
Royal Decree No. 95/99 dated 22/11/1999 amended the name of the Secretariat General for State Audit to State Audit Institution (SAI) as an governmental organ with financial and administrative autonomy. His Excellency Sayyid Abdullah bin Hamad bin Saif Al-Busaidi was appointed as its first Chairman. This was a decisive turning point that ensured and asserted the desirable audit autonomy and neutrality.
The new State Audit Law was promulgated by Royal Decree No. 55/2000 while Royal Decree No. 56/2000 endorsed its new organizational structure to facilitate achievement of its objectives and fulfilment of its responsibilities.
On 2/3/2011, Royal Decree No. 27/2011 radically reengineered the State Audit Institution expanding its role, functions and responsibilities and empowering it with necessary authority. It also appointed His Excellency Shaikh/ Nasser bin Hilal bin Nasser Al-Mawali as its Chairman.
In 2021, the Basic Statute of the State was promulgated by Royal Decree No.6/2021. Article (66) of the Statute stipulated that “An institution named “State Audit Institution” shall be established and it shall report directly to the Sultan. It shall be responsible for financial and administrative audit of units of State Administrative Apparatus and other autonomous legal entities in the manner prescribed by the Law. The institution shall send a copy of its annual report to the Council of Ministers and Shura and State Councils.”
On the 16th of June 2022, the Royal Decree No.42/2022 was issued on the appointment of His Excellency Sheikh Ghuson bin Hilal Al-Alawi as the Chairman of the State Audit Institution. Later on, Royal Decree No. 72/2022 was issued on the approval of the organizational structure of State Audit Institution.