Irishman appointed as European Court of Auditors’ President

Tony Murphy becomes the new President of the European watchdog for a renewable three-year term. He took up his duties on October 1 2022.

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) is managed by a board of members from each of the 27 member states of the European Union as a collegial supreme audit institution (SAI).

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An Irish national, Tony Murphy, was elected by the ECA Members on September 20 to serve as the institution’s 12th President for the period from October 1 to September 2025.

As the President of ECA, Tony Murphy will serve as ‘first among equals. The President is in charge of the institutions’ corporate strategy, planning as well as performance management, media relations and communication, legal matters as well as internal audit, as well as represents the institution in its external relations.

He succeeds Klaus-Heiner Lehne, a German national who served as ECA’s President from 2016 to the present. Lehne led the organisation through challenging times, most notably during the COVID-19 pandemic when it adjusted its operations to the lockdowns and continued producing audit reports while closely examining the Commission’s response to the crisis.

Along with this, when Russia’s full-scale military operation against Ukraine, ECA strongly condemned the war and expressed its full support to Ukraine and its audit institution, the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine (ACU).

Murphy will become the second Irish national leading a European Union institution in charge of the checks as well as balances in the European governance system.

The other one is Emily O’Reilly, who has served as European Ombudsman since 2013 and was reelected in 2019. Both institutions are often considered the fourth branches of power, besides the executive, legislative, as well as judicial branches.

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At the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General in Dublin, he started his career as an auditor in the late 1970s. He joined the ECA in 2018, and since then, he has mostly been in charge of financial audits. He also served as an ECA member for the annual report on the EU budget.

Additionally, he was in charge of audits into child poverty and the consistency of expenditure on EU cohesion policy.

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