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Italian accountant named as Vatican’s first auditor general

The appointment of an independent auditor is a key part of Vatican financial reform (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

More than a year after establishing special structures to oversee the Vatican’s finances, Pope Francis has named an Italian accountant and expert in corporate risk management as the Vatican’s auditor general.

The Vatican announced the appointment of Libero Milone, the Dutch-born, London-educated chairman and managing partner of Milone Associates, on Friday.

He has worked for Flack Renewables, Wind Telecom and Fiat. Until 2007, he was chairman of Deloitte Italy and served three years as a member of the audit committee of the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

The statutes Pope Francis approved in early March for the Council and Secretariat for the Economy specify that the auditor general will have the power to audit the books of any Vatican office and will report directly to the pope.

In a article for the Catholic Herald in December, Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, wrote that having an independent auditor was a key part of the “separation of powers” necessary for reforming the Vatican’s economic activity.