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 Index 
 Full text 
Debates
Tuesday, 26 March 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Discharge 2017 (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Petri Sarvamaa, Rapporteur. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Court of Auditors, the Commission, the agencies network and Parliament’s staff, including the secretariat and our offices, for their valuable work during the 2017 discharge procedure. The decentralised agencies are highly visible in Member States and they have a direct impact on the daily lives of the Union’s citizens. We therefore welcome the overall positive results of the European Court of Auditors’ audit on Union agencies for this financial year.

The Court issued an unqualified audit opinion on the reliability of the accounts and on the legality and regularity of the revenue and the payments underlying the accounts for all the agencies in 2017, except for the payments of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). We regret that the Court issued an adverse opinion for EASO’s payments. The matters which led the Court to issue this adverse opinion were mainly related to non-compliance of payments on public procurement and recruitment procedures. However, we acknowledged EASO’s new management’s commitment to ambitious reforms. We called on the new management to continue its determined and transparent efforts to develop a more accountable, trustworthy and efficient governance structure and related procedures. Therefore, we proposed to grant discharge to all agencies, except for the European Asylum Support Office, for which we propose to postpone the discharge.

I would like to point out the following eight horizontal remarks. One, we strongly call on the agencies to further implement performance-based budgeting to develop and make use of more suitable indicators to evaluate actual impacts and outcomes, and to consistently seek the most effective ways to provide added value. Two, we call on the Commission, the network and the individual agencies to work together and provide constructive feedback throughout the negotiations for the post—2020 MFF, and to explore new sources of financing for the agencies.

Three, we invite the Court and the Commission to propose and define a consistent formula for the calculation of cancelled carryovers and clear guidelines on agencies’ budget reporting. Four, we also call on the Commission in the coming years automatically to provide the discharge authority with the official budget and staff figures regarding only the 32 decentralised agencies.

Five, we are concerned about the number of factors hindering the operational performance of certain agencies and about the shortcomings in the management of procurements. Six, furthermore, we regret that the new audit approach involving private sector auditors has resulted in a significant increase in the administrative burden on the agencies. Seven, the agencies should continue their valuable work regarding prevention and management of conflicts of interest, whistleblower protection, harassment policy and transparency in order to avoid shortcomings in these areas. Finally, we repeat our request of deciding on granting the discharge in the year immediately following the year for which the discharge is granted.

I look forward to the discussion, especially now that we have been given this daylight slot for budgetary control affairs. I once complained that we were only ever allotted a slot at the midnight sitting.

 
Last updated: 26 June 2019Legal notice