Enforcement of criminal fines
2021 and 2023 follow-up of the 2019 audit recommendations

general assembly on July 19, 2023

The enforcement of criminal fines is a major financial challenge for the State and puts the justice system’s credibility on the line. In 2019, given the seriousness of the situation, the Belgian Court of Audit undertook its fourth review on how the State had enforced the fines handed down by the tribunals and courts. The report concluded that the improvement identified since the previous audit (2014) mainly involved the recovery process by the Federal Public Department (FPD) for Finance. Within the FPD Justice, automation of the process was still very incomplete. Besides, no solution had been found for the non-enforcement of substitutive penalties. The Court has now assessed the implementation of its recommendations following its reviews in May 2021 and May 2023.

Although progress has been made, in particular within the FPD Finance and the public prosecutor’s office, there is still room for more efficient enforcement of criminal fines. Of its 20 recommendations in 2019, three have been met, 10 are in progress and seven have not been implemented.