From its very first day, NIK has been the country's supreme supervisory body, empowered to exercise wide-ranging control of the revenue and expenditure of the state and all institutions and corporations that make use of public funds. NIK is entitled to audit all state institutions, government and local government administrative units, together with those corporate bodies and non-governmental organisations which perform public contracts or receive government grants and guarantees.
Under the current regulations, NIK is answerable to Sejm, which appoints its chairperson for a 6-year term, with the approval of the Senate. Terms of office of the NIK chairman do not necessarily coincide with those of the Parliament, which in practice prevents this office from being dependent on any one political party. Like members of Sejm, the chairman of NIK also enjoys immunity: he cannot be arrested or indicted without the consent of Sejm. Currently, the post of NIK Chairman is held by Mirosław Sekuła, appointed to this office by Sejm during its previous term.
The Supreme Chamber of Control operates through its departments and delegates' offices. The division into departments reflects the scope of the matters it controls, and thus NIK includes the following departments:
NIK institutes control proceedings on its own initiative, at the request of Sejm or its bodies or representatives (e.g. the Speaker of Sejm), the President of the Republic, or the Prime Minister. Special types of NIK activities include audits of the state budget and of the principles of financial policy, as well as the NIK opinion in votes of confidence for the Council of Ministers.
The Supreme Chamber of Control cooperates with similar bodies in the European Union countries, with the European Court of Auditors, International Board of Auditors for NATO, as well as the auditing authorities in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, and Hungary.
The Supreme Chamber of Control also cooperates with its European partners within the framework of EUROSAI - the European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, which is one of eight regional groups of INTOSAI - the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions.