Procedure : 2016/2171(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0118/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0118/2017

Debates :

PV 26/04/2017 - 19
CRE 26/04/2017 - 19

Votes :

PV 27/04/2017 - 5.47

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0178

REPORT     
PDF 293kWORD 61k
30.3.2017
PE 593.874v02-00 A8-0118/2017

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015

(2016/2171(DEC))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Inés Ayala Sender

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015

(2016/2171(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015, together with the Foundation’s reply(1),

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(2) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2015, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 21 February 2017 on discharge to be given to the Foundation in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2015 (05873/2017 – C8‑0057/2017),

–  having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1339/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing a European Training Foundation (4), and in particular Article 17 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A8-0118/2017),

1.  Grants the Director of the European Training Foundation discharge in respect of the implementation of the Foundation’s budget for the financial year 2015;

2.  Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this decision, and the resolution forming an integral part of it, to the Director of the European Training Foundation, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

2. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the closure of the accounts of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015

(2016/2171(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015, together with the Foundation’s reply(6),

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(7) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2015, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 21 February 2017 on discharge to be given to the Foundation in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2015 (05873/2017 – C8‑0057/2017),

–  having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(8), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1339/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing a European Training Foundation (9), and in particular Article 17 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A8-0118/2017),

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Director of the European Training Foundation, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

3. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015

(2016/2171(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A8-0118/2017),

A.  whereas, according to its financial statements, the final budget of the European Training Foundation (the “Foundation”) for the financial year 2015 was EUR 20 153 042, representing a decrease of 0,02 % compared to 2014; whereas the entire budget of the Foundation derives from the Union budget,

B.  whereas the Court of Auditors (the “Court”), in its report on the Foundation’s annual accounts for the financial year 2014 (the “Court’s report”), stated that it obtained reasonable assurances that the Foundation’s annual accounts are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

C.  whereas in the context of the discharge procedure, the discharge authority stresses the particular importance of further strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the Union institutions by improving transparency and accountability, implementing the concept of performance based budgeting and good governance of human resources,

Follow-up to 2014 discharge

1.  Notes with concern that, according to the Court's report, funds amounting to EUR 7,5 million deposited at a single bank with a low credit rating made in the Court's 2013 report and marked as “ongoing” in the Court’s 2014 report are still marked as on “ongoing”; acknowledges, however, that the funds held at that bank were reduced to EUR 1,8 million in 2015; notes furthermore that due to specific banking issues, the Foundation is obliged to keep an Italian bank;

2.  Notes from the Court's report that, corrective action was taken with regard to a note in the Court's 2014 report and the comment is now marked as “completed”;

Budget and financial management

3.  Notes that budget monitoring efforts during the financial year 2014 resulted in a high budget implementation rate of 99,89 %, indicating that commitments were made in a timely manner, and that the payment appropriations execution rate was high at 96,04 %;

Commitments and carry-overs

4.  Notes that the Foundation’s overall carry-forwards in Titles I and II decreased to 3,3 % compared to 6,4 % in 2014; notes that the carry-overs amounted to EUR 180 398 (1,4 %) for Title I (staff expenditure); notes, furthermore, that the carry-overs amounted to EUR 316 442 (16,1 %) for Title II (administrative expenditure) representing a considerable decrease of 20,1 % compared to the previous year; notes that the carry-overs for Title III (operational expenditure) increased by 4 % to 36,4 %, mainly due to an increase in activities planned in the second half of 2015 and the effects of a transfer of funds to Title III in December 2015, which was effected in order to maximise the Foundation’s support to operational activities;

5.  Notes that the carry-overs may often be partly or fully justified by the multiannual nature of the agencies’ operational programmes, and do not necessarily indicate weaknesses in budget planning and implementation nor are they always at odds with the budgetary principle of annularity, in particular if they are planned in advance by the Foundation and communicated to the Court;

Transfers

6.  Notes that the Foundation made nine budgetary transfers in 2015, one more than in 2014, in continued compliance with the recommendations received from the Court; acknowledges that the increased amount of payment appropriations transferred is linked to the budget restructuring undertaken in 2015, and was needed to pay for the previous year’s activities, in which budget lines were discontinued; acknowledges, furthermore, that the level and nature of transfers in 2014 remained within the limits of the Foundation’s financial rules;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

7.  Notes that the Foundation has not collected or published declarations of conflicts of interests of all of its governing board members; notes that there is no mechanism which obliges the members to provide such declarations; notes that even some of the available declarations and CVs on the Foundation's website are accessible only with a password; calls on the Foundation to adopt strict guidelines for a coherent policy on the prevention and management of conflicts of interest for members of the management board and to adopt and implement a clear policy on conflicts of interest, in accordance with the Roadmap on the follow-up to the Common Approach on EU decentralised agencies; calls on the Foundation to publish all such documents, in accordance with those guidelines, and allows the public the necessary overview on its senior management; welcomes the fact that all declarations of conflicts of interests of the Foundation's relevant staff have been collected;

8.  Notes from the Foundation that an awareness-raising presentation on fraud and conflicts of interests for all staff was planned for the end of 2016; notes, moreover, that the selection assessment board members sign a declaration of conflicts of interests upon receipt of the list of applicants; acknowledges that all new staff attend a presentation on ethics and integrity including conflicts of interests and fraud;

Internal audit

9.  Notes that, in accordance with the audit plan, the Commission’s internal audit service (IAS) did not carry out an audit during the course of 2015; notes that at the end of 2015 the Foundation had one open audit recommendation regarding “formal appointment of selection panels in procurement”; acknowledges that the IAS downgraded the recommendation from “very important” to “important” in September 2015, and that the recommendation will be formally closed through on-the-spot testing by the IAS during its next visit to the Foundation;

10.  Acknowledges that the Foundation commissioned three ex-post audits through the Commission’s inter-institutional framework contracts for audits; notes, furthermore, that the results of the audits were positive overall although the performance and system audit and the audit “on ETF practices in deploying its Performance Management Framework and its Improvement Plan “ identified issues for improvement; acknowledges from the Foundation that it immediately put in place actions in order to mitigate the identified issues;

Other comments

11.  Acknowledges and welcomes the Foundation’s continued contribution to modernising the education and training systems and to strengthening the human capital of partner countries, including the support provided to the Union’s migration dialogue and Mobility Partnerships with neighbourhood countries; notes the Foundation’s inventory on migrant support measures from an employment and skills perspective (MISMES) and its recommendations regarding skills and migration; welcomes the collaboration between the Foundation and the partner countries in order to analyse the “NEETs” phenomenon (Young people Not in Employment, Education or Training);

12.  Note that the Foundation’s internal reorganisation came into effect on 1 January 2015 and hopes that the changed internal organisation will help the Foundation achieve better results;

13.  Commends the Foundation’s high achievement rate of 96 % in respect of the target set out in its work programme;

14.  Welcomes warmly the full compliance of the Foundation with the 2004 EU Staff Regulation;

15.  Notes the efforts made by the Foundation to ensure security of its assets and hopes this process will be completed in the near future;

°

°  °

16.  Refers, for other observations of a cross-cutting nature accompanying its decision on discharge, to its resolution of [xx xxxx 2017](11) [on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies].).

31.1.2017

OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

for the Committee on Budgetary Control

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Training Foundation for the financial year 2015

(2016/2171(DEC))

Rapporteur: Marian Harkin

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgetary Control, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Expresses its satisfaction that the Court of Auditors has declared the transactions underlying the Foundation’s annual accounts for the financial year 2015 to be legal and regular and that its financial position as at 31 December 2015 is fairly represented;

2.  Acknowledges and welcomes the Foundation’s continued contribution to modernising the education and training systems and to strengthening the human capital of partner countries, including the support provided to the Union’s migration dialogue and Mobility Partnerships with neighbourhood countries; notes the Foundation’s inventory on migrant support measures from an employment and skills perspective (MISMES) as well as its recommendations regarding skills and migration; welcomes the collaboration between the Foundation and the partner countries in order to analyse the NEET phenomenon (Young people Not in Employment, Education or Training);

3.  Takes note of the fact that the Foundation’s internal reorganisation came into effect on 1 January 2015 and hopes that the changed internal organisation will help the Foundation achieve better results;

4.  Commends the Foundation’s high achievement rate of 96 % in respect of the target set out in its work programme;

5.  Welcomes strongly the full compliance of the Foundation with the 2004 EU Staff Regulation;

6.  Notes the efforts made by the Foundation to ensure security of its assets and hopes this process will be completed in the near future;

7.  Notes the high level of committed appropriations under Title II (36,2 %) carried over to 2015 mainly attributed to planned purchases made at the end of 2014;

8.  Takes note of the fact that in 2015 the Foundation was still working on corrective actions in response to the comment made by the Court of Auditors and the European Parliament stressing that, by the end of 2013, the Foundation had 7,5 million EUR in accounts at a single bank with a low credit rating (F3, BBB).

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

25.1.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

46

3

2

Members present for the final vote

Laura Agea, Brando Benifei, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Enrique Calvet Chambon, Ole Christensen, Martina Dlabajová, Lampros Fountoulis, Arne Gericke, Marian Harkin, Czesław Hoc, Agnes Jongerius, Rina Ronja Kari, Jan Keller, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Jean Lambert, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Patrick Le Hyaric, Jeroen Lenaers, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Javi López, Thomas Mann, Dominique Martin, Joëlle Mélin, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, João Pimenta Lopes, Georgi Pirinski, Terry Reintke, Sofia Ribeiro, Robert Rochefort, Claude Rolin, Anne Sander, Sven Schulze, Siôn Simon, Jutta Steinruck, Romana Tomc, Yana Toom, Ulrike Trebesius, Marita Ulvskog, Renate Weber, Jana Žitňanská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Georges Bach, Heinz K. Becker, Lynn Boylan, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Paloma López Bermejo, Edouard Martin, Evelyn Regner, Csaba Sógor, Helga Stevens, Flavio Zanonato

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Marco Valli

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

22.3.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Dennis de Jong, Tamás Deutsch, Martina Dlabajová, Luke Ming Flanagan, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Bogusław Liberadzki, Monica Macovei, Notis Marias, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Bart Staes, Hannu Takkula, Derek Vaughan, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Benedek Jávor, Karin Kadenbach, Julia Pitera, Patricija Šulin

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Raymond Finch, Jens Geier, Susanne Melior, Piernicola Pedicini, Janusz Zemke

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

23

+

ALDE

ECR

GUE/NGL

PPE

S&D

VERTS/ALE

Martina Dlabajová, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Hannu Takkula

Monica Macovei

Luke Ming Flanagan, Dennis de Jong

Tamás Deutsch, Julia Pitera, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Joachim Zeller, Patricija Šulin

Inés Ayala Sender, Jens Geier, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Karin Kadenbach, Bogusław Liberadzki, Susanne Melior, Derek Vaughan, Janusz Zemke

Benedek Jávor, Bart Staes

4

-

ECR

EFDD

Richard Ashworth, Notis Marias

Raymond Finch, Piernicola Pedicini

0

0

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 168.

(2)

OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 168.

(3)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(4)

OJ L 354, 31.12.2008, p. 82.

(5)

OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

(6)

OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 168.

(7)

OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 168.

(8)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(9)

OJ L 354, 31.12.2008, p. 82.

(10)

OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

(11)

Texts adopted of that date, P[8_TA(-PROV)(2017)0000].

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