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Corporate Body - Tribunal de Cuentas (España)

Tribunal de Cuentas (España)



Corporate Body

Preferred form:

Tribunal de Cuentas (España)Other forms

Fechas de Existencia:



The Court of Auditors is a Constitutional Body of the State, as provided for in Article 136 of the Spanish Constitution (also in its Article 153.d), which is extremely rich in history. The designation 'Contador Mayor de Cuentas' (Accounts Officer of Finance) has been commonly used with regard to such Institution since at least mid-fifteenth century, and the department of Contadores Mayores was known as 'Contaduría Mayor de Cuentas' (Head Accounts Office). The name 'Tribunal de la Contaduría Mayor de Cuentas' (Court of the Head Accounts Office) has been used since mid-sixteenth century. It was not until 1828 that the Tribunal Mayor de Cuentas was subjected to changes by eliminating the word 'Contaduría' from its title. It shall be mentioned, nonetheless, that the three designations, as well as that of Tribunal de Cuentas, were used alternately during this period, in compliance with different laws. By Law of 25 June 1870, the institution was granted the title of Supreme Court in the time span between 1871 and 1873, and was renamed as 'Tribunal de Cuentas de la Nación' (Court of Auditors of the Nation), having removed every single Monarchist symbol. There was a comeback to the name Court of Auditors of the Kingdom since that date until 1924, when it was renamed as the Supreme Court of Public Finance and General Audit. It was renamed as the Court of Auditors of the Kingdom in 1930 and as the Court of Auditors of the Republic in October 1931. Although since its constitution in 1940 it was referred to as the Court of Auditors, such designation was alternately used with that of Court of Auditors of the Kingdom since 1953. The latter was the name it bore since 1961. The Constitution of 1978 establishes the name Court of Auditors, which respects and preserves the Court's historical background. Aimed at its development was the issuance of the Organic Law 2/1982 of 13 May, which laid down the regulation of the Institution. Therefore, the Law Nº5 of 5 April 1988 was issued in order to render the Court operative, pursuant to the Organic Law. In a nutshell, the performance of the Court of Auditors is reliant upon the Constitution, as well as the so-called 'Organic Law' and 'Law of Performance'. The Spanish Magna Carta, the Organic Law and the Law of Performance establish that the Court of Auditors be the highest controlling authority for finance and for economic management of the State and the Public Sector, within its own jurisdiction, without prejudice to audit- related powers of the External Oversight Bodies of the Autonomous Communities. It is placed up in the orbit of Legislative Power, directly reliant upon the Cortes Generales ¿ although it is not an organism owned by the National Parliament. All twelve of its members ¿ the Consejeros de Cuentas (Auditor Counsellors), six being appointed by the Chamber of Deputies, and other six by the Senate- enjoy the very same independence, immobility and incompatibilities as the judges. There shall be a clear distinction between the two functions the Court has been traditionally entrusted, namely, the audit-related and the jurisdictional functions.

Internal Structure-Genealogy:

Pursuant to laws of 1851 and 1870, the Court is staffed by a president, a district attorney and nine magistrates, distributed in three Chambers: two for the Peninsula and one for the Ultramarine Territories. Following the magistrates, the Contadores de Cuentas (Audit Accountants) occupy the first rung of the taxation process in each Chamber. All audits from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Philippines were forwarded to the Chamber of Ultramarine Territories on an annual basis. The personnel also encompassed a secretary-general, a deputy district attorney, two attorneys, an archivist and assistants. The Court's present organization is as follows: To carry out its duties, the Organic Law and the Law of Performance structure the Court of Auditors into the following authorities: the President, the Plenum, the Government Commission, the Department of Taxation, the Department of Indictment, the Auditor Councilors, the District Attorney’s Office and the Secretariat-General. There also exist support bodies and other authorities that function within the Court itself: the Auditor, the Technical Office and the Legal Counsel of the State.


The documentation from the Court of Auditors of the Kingdom was held in the court’s own archive in Madrid until the lack of space triggered the dismemberment of its fonds: the former peninsular documentation was dispatched to the Central Archive of Alcala de Henares, whereas the ultramarine documents were sent to the General Archive of the Indies. The dispatch of the fonds begins on 25 April 1932, but the shipment of the dossiers was disrupted due to the shortage of space in the Archive, hence why the fonds of Puerto Rico and Cuba remain incomplete, and the Philippine ones are almost inexistent. The 1939 conflagration of the Central Archive of Alcala burnt down the ancient peninsular documentation dispatched thereto by the Court. The remaining documents deposited in Princesa Street in Madrid burnt down as well in the times of the war. This set of circumstances makes it impossible to restore the unity of this institution’s fonds, neither from the Peninsular Chambers, since all documents prior to 1903 are missing, nor from the Chamber of Ultramarine, whose archives had never been dispatched. Therefore, the decision to dispatch the ultramarine fonds to this Archive shall be regarded as provisional and although it might be deemed to be the wrong path from an archival standpoint, at least it managed to preserve the documentation held in this department. This means that the fonds from the Court of Auditors preserved to this date are as follows: the fonds held in the Archive located in Fuencarral Street, which date back as far as to 1903; the documentation within the General Archive of the Indies, related to Ultramarine Territories, which stretches back to 1862 in the case of Puerto Rico and to 1851 in the case of Cuba.

Mandates/Legal Sources


Real Orden publicada en la Gaceta de Madrid el 8 de diciembre de 1829, declarando constituido el tribunal Mayor de Cuentas con el fin de poner en ejecución la Real Ordenanza de creación del Tribunal Mayor de Cuentas, promulgado el 10 de noviembre de 1828

Ley estableciendo la organización, atribuciones y demás funciones del Tribunal de Cuentas publicada el 2 de septiembre de 1851 en la Gaceta de Madrid

Ley Orgánica 2/1982, de 12 de mayo, del Tribunal de Cuentas, publicada en el BOE el 21 de mayo de 1982


PARES: Código Referencia:ES.37274.CDMH/2.21//

PARES: Código Referencia:ES.41091.AGI/33//TRIBUNAL_DE_CUENTAS

PARES: Código Referencia:ES.28079.AHN/1.1.55//

Related Authorities

Aced Bartrina, Francisco  ( Tiene como empleado a_en; Magistrado )

Associative relations :

Benito, José de (1901-1992)  ( It has as a member; Fiscal del Tribunal de Cuentas. )

Chicano Javega, Enriqueta (1949-)  ( It has as a member )

García Cubertoret, Luis (1905-1962)  ( Tiene como empleado a_en )

Gómez Chaix, Pedro (1864-1955)  ( It has as a member )

Gutiérrez Fernández, Benito (1826-1885)  ( It has as a member; Fiscal. )

Palomo Aguado, Emilio (1898-1964)  ( Tiene como empleado a_en; Presidente del Tribunal de Cuentas desde el 25 de junio de 1936 hasta el 29 de marzo de 1939; sucede a Jaime Dominguez Barbero. )

Rodriguez de la Borbolla Amoscótegui Saavedra, Pedro (1855-1922)  ( Tiene como empleado a_en )

Temporary relationships :

Contaduría Mayor de Cuentas (España)  - Later (Organismos temporalmente relacionados)

See predecessors

External Links

Página institucional:

Tribunal de Cuentas

Obras publicadas:


Fichero de Autoridades:

Biblioteca Nacional de España


Producer of:

  • Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica  (1)
  • Archivo Histórico Nacional  (1)
  • Archivo General de Indias  (3)

Related documents:

  • Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica  (1)
  • Archivo Histórico de la Nobleza  (4)
  • Archivo Histórico Nacional  (717)
  • Archivo General de Indias  (11)