05 March 2014
The EC has implemented a large majority of audit recommendations, helping to improve EU budget management.
A report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) states that the European Commission (EC) adequately follows up and implements a large majority of its recommendations, which has contributed towards improving the financial management of a number of areas of the EU budget.
‘The ECA adds value by applying its expertise to identify ways to improve financial management,’ stated Mr Henrik Otbo, the ECA Member responsible for the report. ‘With the EU Commission taking our advice and implementing our recommendations, we are achieving our mission – to help the EU run better’.
Of the recommendations outlined in its 2012 annual report, the ECA found that the EC had fully or partially implemented 95% of its recommendations. A sample of 62 recommendations was taken from 10 special reports from 2006-2010 and the ECA assessed the actions taken by the EC in response to these; it found that 83 % were fully implemented or implemented in most respects; 12 % had been implemented in some respects; and 5 % had not been implemented. The review also showed that the Commission has proper guidelines and procedures in place concerning its follow up activities.
EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget, Janusz Lewandowski has responded, saying ‘I am particularly pleased, that the improvements were found in the crucial areas of the EU budget such as cohesion policy and agriculture. I have worked hard to improve the financial management of the EU budget as well as to cut red tape for beneficiaries. The EU budget remains a vital source of public investment and this report is another confirmation that the EU manages its funds well with high value for money for EU citizens’.
The follow-up of audit reports is considered by international auditing standards as the final stage in the performance audit cycle of planning, execution and follow up.