Procedure : 2016/2159(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0140/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0140/2017

Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 27/04/2017 - 5.23

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0154

REPORT     
PDF 382kWORD 66k
31.3.2017
PE 593.843v02-00 A8-0140/2017

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor

(2016/2159(DEC))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Bart Staes

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor

(2016/2159(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015(1),

–  having regard to the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2015 (COM(2016)0475 – C8‑0277/2016)(2),

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2015, together with the institutions’ replies(3),

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(4) 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 Article 314(10) and Articles 317, 318 and 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(5), and in particular Articles 55, 99, 164, 165 and 166 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 Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0140/2017),

1.  Grants the European Data Protection Supervisor discharge in respect of the implementation of the 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 European Data Protection Supervisor, the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Court of Auditors, the European Ombudsman and the European External Action Service, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

2. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor

(2016/2159(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor,

–  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 Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0140/2017),

A.  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 (PBB) and good governance of human resources;

1.  Welcomes the conclusion of the Court of Auditors (the “Court”), according to which the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2015 for administrative and other expenditure of the European Data Protection Supervisor (the “Supervisor”) were free from material error and that the examined supervisory and control systems for administrative and other expenditure were effective;

2.  Notes that, in its annual report for 2015, the Court identified no serious weaknesses in respect to the audited topics (five recruitment procedures, five procurement procedures and a single financial transaction) relating to the Supervisor’s human resources and procurement activities; stresses that this is the fourth consecutive year in which no serious weaknesses were identified by the Court;

3.  Notes that in 2015, the Supervisor had a total allocated budget of EUR 8 760 417 (compared to EUR 8 012 953 in 2014) and that the implementation rate was 96 % (compared to 92 % in 2014); welcomes the improved result;

4.  Notes that the Supervisor's budget is mostly administrative, with a large amount being used for expenditure relating to persons working within the institution and the remaining amount relating to buildings, furniture, equipment and miscellaneous running costs; stresses, however, that introducing PBB should not apply only to the Supervisor’s budget as a whole but should also include the setting of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based (SMART) targets to individual departments, units and the annual plans of members of staff; in this respect, calls on the Supervisor to introduce the PBB principle more widely in its daily operations;

5.  Notes with concern that three internal control system indicators are qualified as needing substantial additional effort, in particular the “objectives and performance indicators” that are recommended to develop SMART objectives and relevant, accepted, credible, easy and robust indicators; welcomes the commitment of the Supervisor to implement all the recommendations regarding those indicators;

6.  Notes that while the Supervisor has only one senior management post, its middle management posts present a gender imbalance of 40 % / 60 %; calls on the Supervisor to pursue its efforts to ensure that its recruitment and promotions policy is as gender balanced as possible;

7.  Notes with great satisfaction that each of the Supervisor’s members of staff was absent from work on average for only 6,6 days due to sick leave;

8.  Emphasises that the Supervisor has organised different after-work events; calls on the Supervisor to check for ways in which to reward the individual members of staff who contribute most to its well-being activities, continue with such activities, and try to include as many members of staff as possible; calls on the Supervisor to share its experience in this field with the Union institutions and other Union bodies;

9.  Notes with satisfaction that the Supervisor has designated two anti-harassment counsellors who can provide confidential assistance and who belong to the network of the Commission; notes that there were no reported cases of harassment;

10.  Notes that the Supervisor adopted a code of conduct for its supervisors on 16 December 2015; stresses, however, that this code is, rather, a statement on this issue and provides no rules against conflicts of interests; regrets that the CVs and declarations of interests of the Supervisor’s members and members of staff are not available for public consultation; calls on the Supervisor to draft and submit to the discharge authority a track record of cases of conflicts of interests identified;

11.  Welcomes the Supervisor’s practice of regularly informing staff about management meetings and their outcome;

12.  Notes with satisfaction that any attendance by the Supervisor at professional meetings with organisations or self-employed individuals outside the Union institutions (including lobbyists) are published at least on its website; notes that, similarly, all conferences in which the Supervisor participates are published on its website, together with any formal speaking notes; reiterates its call on the Supervisor to provide detailed information on missions undertaken by its members and staff in its annual activity report since the information provided was not sufficiently detailed in terms of transparency and cost-effectiveness guarantees;

13.  Calls on the Supervisor to join the Inter-Institutional Agreement on a Mandatory Transparency Register, when it is set up;

14.  Notes the creation of a small task-force in July 2015 to assess the legal, operational and budgetary means for the creation of the European Data Protection Board which will take over the Article 29 Working Party; welcomes the utilisation rate achieved in 2015 for the appropriations entered in the relevant titles; calls on the Supervisor to include the findings of the task force in its annual activity report;

15.  Welcomes, in particular, the advisory role played by the Supervisor during the development of legislation in the data protection package (the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Directive), the Europol reform and the Passenger Name Record Directive, the EU-US Privacy Shield as well as its opinion on the First reform package on the Common European Asylum System (Eurodac, EASO and Dublin regulations) as well as its involvement in the setting-up of the European Data Protection Board;

16.  Welcomes the inter-institutional cooperation of the Supervisor with the Union institutions and other Union bodies, mainly in administrative, procurement, financial, accounting and budgetary matters; asks the Supervisor to include detailed information on all service-level agreements and the results obtained from this cooperation in its annual activity report;

17.  Welcomes the strategy developed by the Supervisor for 2015-2019 and the associated key performance indicators used to monitor and adjust, if needed, the use of its resources; acknowledges that the key performance indicators selected show that the implementation of this strategy is largely on track; calls on the Supervisor to continue to provide the scoreboard in its annual activity report and to clarify the distinction between external and internal indicators;

18.  Welcomes the clarification for the absence of a building policy of the Supervisor, as its services are hosted by Parliament in one of its buildings, and asks to be informed of any development or change with regard to the current situation;

19.   Welcomes the provision of exhaustive information on all the human resources at the Supervisor’s disposal, broken down according to grade, sex and nationality and requests that that information be automatically included in its annual activity report;

20.  Notes the Supervisor’s plan to comply with the inter-institutional agreement to reduce staff by 5 % over a period of five years; is well aware of the future challenge of preparing the Union institutions and bodies for the application of the General Data Protection Regulation, which is to apply from 25 May 2018; suggests that the Supervisor inform Parliament about any alternative savings achieved to compensate the possible delay in the reduction of staff;

21.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to exempt agencies in the justice and home affairs area, as well as the Supervisor, from the general 5 % staffing cut, since in the current political climate these bodies are being requested to take on ever-increasing workloads;

22.  Notes the reference, in the introduction to the Supervisor’s 2015 annual activity report, to specific sections on procurement and missions’ management; calls for its next annual activity report to include an overview of the same data for the last three or four years;

23.  Notes that the Supervisor applied the recommendation formulated in Parliament’s 2014 discharge report and published a list of awarded contracts; recommends that the Supervisor publish the Court’s report together with its annual activity report, for the sake of transparency and public confidence;

24.  Urges the Supervisor to adhere to the rules covered by Article 16 of the Staff Regulation and to lay down clear binding rules regarding “revolving doors”, in accordance with the guidelines published by the Commission;

25.  Welcomes the publication, on 16 June 2016, of the Supervisor’s decision on internal rules concerning whistleblowing;

26.  Calls on the Supervisor to improve its communications policy in relation with Union citizens;

27.  Encourages the increasing contribution of the Supervisor to solutions driving innovation and enhancing privacy and data protection, in particular by increasing transparency, user control and accountability in big data processing; notes the delivery of several opinions calling for action maximising benefits of new technologies without compromising fundamental rights.

15.2.2017

OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

for the Committee on Budgetary Control

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor

(2016/2159(DEC))

Rapporteur: Petr Ježek

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Welcomes the reception of a clean report from the Court of Auditors (the “Court”) for the fourth consecutive year; notes that five recruitment procedures, five procurement procedures and a single financial transaction were audited and did not reveal any serious weaknesses; notes also the lack of findings about internal control weaknesses of the institution;

2.  Welcomes that EDPS complied with the request made by the discharge authority in 2014 and published a table of all its human resources with a break-down according to grade, sex and nationality; welcomes the inclusion of this table to the 2015 AAR;

3.  Recalls that in 2015 the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) was allocated a budget of EUR 8 760 417, an increase of 1,09 % compared to the 2014 budget; welcomes, therefore, the high implementation rates of the budget (94,5 %) and of payment appropriations (86,5 %); notes the commitment of the EDPS to complete the 5 % staff reduction target during the course of 2016;

4.  Reiterates the call on the Commission to exempt agencies in the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) area, such as the EDPS, from the general 5% staffing cut, since in the current political climate these agencies are being requested to take on ever-increasing workloads;

5.  Notes, however, that the internal audit service report revealed that for 3 out of the 14 ICS objectives some significant implementations efforts are still required by the EDPS; welcomes the commitment of the EDPS to implement all recommendations;

6.  Welcomes the development of an EDPS strategy for 2015-2019 and of associated key performance indicators to monitor and adjust, if needed, the use of its resources; acknowledges that key performance indicators selected show that the implementation of this strategy is largely on track;

7.  Welcomes especially the advisory role played by the EDPS during the development of legislation in the data protection package (the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Directive), the Europol reform and the Passenger Name Record Directive, the EU-US Privacy Shield as well as its opinion on the First reform package on the Common European Asylum System (Eurodac, EASO and Dublin regulations) as well as its involvement in the setting-up of the European Data Protection Board;

8.  Notes that EDPS has adopted a code of conduct for the supervisors on 16 December 2015; regrets however that this code is more a statement of the agency on the issue providing no rules against conflicts of interest; regrets that CVs and declarations of interest of EDPS members and staff are not available for public consultation; calls on the agency to draft and submit to the discharge authority a track record of cases of conflicts of interest identified;

9.  Notes that EDPS applied the recommendation formulated in its 2014 discharge report and published a list of awarded contracts; to remind of the importance of transparency for public trust and recommends that EDPS publish the Court’s report along with its annual report and annual activity report;

10.  Urges the agency to adhere to the rules covered by Article 16 of the Staff Regulation and to lay down clear binding rules regarding “revolving doors” in accordance with the guidelines published by the Commission;

11.  Notes the publication on 16 June 2016 of EDPS’ decision on internal rules concerning whistleblowing;

12.  Encourages growing contribution of the EDPS to solutions driving innovation and enhancing privacy and data protection, especially by increasing transparency, user control and accountability in big data processing; notes the delivery of several opinions calling for actions maximising benefits of new technologies without compromising fundamental rights.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

9.2.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

43

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Heinz K. Becker, Michał Boni, Caterina Chinnici, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Tanja Fajon, Kinga Gál, Ana Gomes, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sylvie Guillaume, Jussi Halla-aho, Monika Hohlmeier, Eva Joly, Dietmar Köster, Barbara Kudrycka, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Marju Lauristin, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Monica Macovei, Roberta Metsola, Péter Niedermüller, Soraya Post, Judith Sargentini, Birgit Sippel, Branislav Škripek, Csaba Sógor, Sergei Stanishev, Helga Stevens, Traian Ungureanu, Bodil Valero, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Udo Voigt, Josef Weidenholzer, Kristina Winberg, Tomáš Zdechovský

Substitutes present for the final vote

Petr Ježek, Jeroen Lenaers, Nadine Morano, Morten Helveg Petersen, Emil Radev, Barbara Spinelli, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Axel Voss

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

Lara Comi, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Georg Mayer

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

22.3.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Dennis de Jong, Tamás Deutsch, Martina Dlabajová, Luke Ming Flanagan, Ingeborg Gräßle, Jean-François Jalkh, Bogusław Liberadzki, Notis Marias, Georgi Pirinski, 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, Benedek Jávor, Karin Kadenbach, Markus Pieper, Patricija Šulin

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

Raymond Finch, Jens Geier, Arne Lietz, Piernicola Pedicini, Lieve Wierinck

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

24

+

ALDE

Martina Dlabajová, Hannu Takkula, Lieve Wierinck

ECR

Richard Ashworth

EFDD

Piernicola Pedicini

GUE/NGL

Luke Ming Flanagan, Dennis de Jong

PPE

Tamás Deutsch, Ingeborg Gräßle, Markus Pieper, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Patricija Šulin, Joachim Zeller

S&D

Inés Ayala Sender, Jens Geier, Karin Kadenbach, Bogusław Liberadzki, Arne Lietz, Georgi Pirinski, Derek Vaughan

Verts/ALE

Benedek Jávor, Bart Staes

3

-

ECR

Notis Marias

EFDD

Raymond Finch

ENF

Jean-François Jalkh

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

OJ L 69, 13.3.2015.

(2)

OJ C 380, 14.10.2016, p. 1.

(3)

OJ C 375, 13.10.2016, p. 1.

(4)

OJ C 380, 14.10.2016, p. 147.

(5)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

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