Procedure : 2012/0801(NLE)
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Document selected : A7-0036/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0036/2012

Debates :

Votes :

PV 14/02/2012 - 7.7
CRE 14/02/2012 - 7.7
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


REPORT     
PDF 189kWORD 105k
10 February 2012
PE 480.512v03-00 A7-0036/2012

on the nomination of Baudilio Tomé Muguruza as a Member of the Court of Auditors

(C7-0015/2012 – 2012/0801(NLE))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Inés Ayala Sender

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 ANNEX 1: CURRICULUM VITÆ OF BAUDILIO TOMÉ MUGURUZA
 ANNEX 2: ANSWERS BY BAUDILIO TOMÉ MUGURUZA TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the nomination of Baudilio Tomé Muguruza as a Member of the Court of Auditors

(C7-0015/2012 – 2012/0801(NLE))

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 286(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C7-0015/2012),

–   having regard to Rule 108 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0036/2012),

A. whereas Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control proceeded to evaluate the credentials of the nominee, in particular in view of the requirements laid down in Article 286(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

B.  whereas at its meeting of 9 February 2012 the Committee on Budgetary Control heard the Council’s nominee for membership of the Court of Auditors,

1.  Delivers a favourable opinion on the Council’s nomination of Baudilio Tomé Muguruza as a Member of the Court of Auditors;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and, for information, the Court of Auditors, the other institutions of the European Union and the audit institutions of the Member States.


ANNEX 1: CURRICULUM VITÆ OF BAUDILIO TOMÉ MUGURUZA

Born in León (Spain) on 12 May 1962. Married with three children.

Academic training and experience

- Degree in law. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1985.

- Degree in economic and business sciences from UNED, 1989.

- Master of Laws and International Tax Programme, ITP/LL.M. Harvard Law School, 1992, with a Fulbright-Ministry of Finance scholarship.

- Distance learning preparatory course for credit and savings institution inspectors given by the Bank of Spain training centre, 1984.

- School of Public Finance at the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance. Entry course for state finance inspectors, 1987. Specialised course in financial control and public audit, 1988.

- Associate professor of public finance in the Law Faculty of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid from 1993 to 1995. Also gave courses on tax matters at the School of Public Finance of the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, at Comillas University and at a large number of study days and seminars.

Professional experience

- State finance inspector since 1986, currently a senior state finance inspector, financial controller and auditor. State finance inspector, financial controller and auditor performing special duties.

- Tax inspector at the tax office in La Coruña from 1988 to 1989.

- Company tax coordinator in the Directorate-General for Taxation from 1989 to 1995, working on the reform of company tax and ways of integrating income and company tax and representing the Spanish government in Council and Commission working groups on company tax and the European company.

- Member of the Madrid Economic-Administrative Tribunal from 1995 to 1996, a functionally independent body within the Ministry of Finance that reviews appeals by taxpayers against tax office decisions.

- Director of the Department for Economic and Social Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office from 1996 to 1998, providing assistance and advice to the Prime Minister on matters relating to national and international economic affairs, including the preparation of European Council meetings.

- Director of the Prime Minister’s Budget Office, with the rank of undersecretary, from 1998 to 2000. Responsible for assisting the Prime Minister in the formulation of budget policy and monitoring state budgets. Member of the government’s Delegated Committee for Economic Affairs. In this post, coordinated the Spanish government’s position in the negotiations on the European Union’s financial perspective for the period 2000-2007.

- Secretary of State for Telecommunications and the Information Society in the Ministry of Science and Technology from 2000 to 2002. Represented the Spanish government in European Union Councils of Ministers for Telecommunications and Audiovisual Matters. During the Spanish EU Presidency, was responsible for pushing ahead with the adoption of the telecommunications package of directives and the e-Europa 2005 strategic plan. Vice-President of the Advisory Council for Telecommunications and the Information Society. Member of the Interministerial Commission for the information society.

- First president of the public enterprise body Red.es, which was set up to promote the information society and extend the opportunities offered by the information society to all administrations and sectors of social and economic activity.

- Director of the Department of Research and Political Communication in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2002 to 2004.

- Member of the boards of Telefónica Internacional, S.A. and Banco Exterior de España, S.A. (from 1996 until its full privatisation).

- Was a member of the boards of the public enterprise body Correos y Telégrafos from 1996 to 2000, the State Company for the Commemoration of the Centenaries of Charles V and Philip II from 1997 to 2000, and the State Company for Cultural Action Abroad (SEACEX) from 2002 to 2004.

- Represented the government on the board of the National Social Security Institute, the general board of the National Employment Institute and the general board of the National Institute for the Promotion of the Social Economy.

- Secretary-General of the FAES (Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies) from 2002 to 2004, responsible for pushing ahead with the setting-up, organisation and strategic definition of a new political foundation and national, European and international programmes.

- Member of the Congress of Deputies (eighth and ninth parliamentary term) (2004-2008 and 2008-2011). Member of the Committees on the Economy and Finance, Budgets and Science and Technology. Finance spokesperson for the Partido Popular on the Committee on the Economy and Finance in the Congress of Deputies.

Publications

- Various articles and contributions to seminars, specialist journals and books on subjects relating to tax, economic and financial affairs, the information society and politics.

- ‘Guía del Impuesto sobre Sociedades’, Editorial CISS. Valencia, 1996. Various authors.

- ‘La reforma del sistema educativo: el reto de la excelencia’. FAES, 2009.

- ‘España, claves de prosperidad’. Editorial Gota a gota. Madrid, 2010. Various authors.

- ‘Estrategia 2020, una nueva agenda del Lisboa’. FAES Foundation contribution to the European Commission consultation. FAES, 2010. Rapporteur.

Current position

- Member for Zaragoza in the 10th parliamentary term.

- Study and programme coordinator and member of the Partido Popular national executive committee.

- Member of the board of trustees of the FAES (Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies).


ANNEX 2: ANSWERS BY BAUDILIO TOMÉ MUGURUZA TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE

Professional experience

1.      Please highlight the main aspects of your professional experience in public finance, management or management auditing

The whole of my professional career spanning more than 25 years has been spent in the public sector, as an official, high-ranking civil servant or Member of Parliament. I have at all times held the status of a public official, either in active service or on secondment. Most of the positions I have occupied have been related to the budgetary process, whether this be the design and enforcement of the tax system or the various aspects of the budgetary cycle: planning, preparation, approval and control.

On finishing my Law Degree, I passed an open competition to become a senior state finance inspector and, after following correspondence courses at the School of Public Finance, qualified as a finance inspector and State financial controller and auditor. I believe these two functions gave me a good training in private and public accounting, and in techniques to assess compliance by both taxpayers and spending centres regarding budget execution. This specialisation was reinforced when I completed my Degree in Economic and Business Sciences.

As a tax inspector, I had the opportunity to apply auditing techniques to check the tax status of companies and professionals, on an independent basis using a regulated procedure. My time spent at the Directorate-General for Taxation, as company tax coordinator, allowed me to gain a broader view of the tax system and its implications from the point of view of economic and budgetary policy. This experience was supplemented by my studies at the University of Harvard which were mainly focused on the design of tax systems and the impact of direct and indirect taxation. As a member of the Economic-Administrative Tribunal, I had the opportunity to be involved in the process of drawing up, discussing and approving reports by a collegiate body responsible for monitoring the correct application of the tax system. All this experience was very useful for the years I spent as associate professor of public finance at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

I was an economic advisor to the Spanish Prime Minister for four years, first as Director of the Department for Economic and Social Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office, and later along with the role of Director of the Prime Minister’s Budget Office. My responsibilities and tasks were very wide-ranging, but were specifically centred on the budget process, both with regard to planning, development and implementation, and to fulfilling macroeconomic objectives in constant coordination with the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

As Secretary of State for Telecommunications and the Information Society, I was responsible within the government for telecommunications, the audiovisual sector and the information society. I was in charge of managing the budget allocated to promoting the expansion of new technologies within government and throughout society and encouraging RDI in these sectors. This was also the objective of the public enterprise body Red.es. of which I was the founder and first president. State Secretariat and Red.es programmes alike received European funding

My work as a Member of Parliament has also been focused on public finances, as much of it has been carried out within the Economy and Finance Committee, for which I was the Finance spokesman, and the Budget Committee. I have been the rapporteur on laws relating to taxation, fraud control and money laundering and on various reports by the Spanish Court of Auditors within the corresponding parliamentary committee.

2.      What are the three most important decisions to which you have been party in your professional life?

In 1992, after completing a period of study in the United States financed by a grant from the Ministry of Finance, I returned to my position as company tax coordinator. I then joined the team at the Directorate-General for Taxation which initiated a radical modernisation of company tax by aligning taxable income with accounting results, on the basis of the principle of neutrality, eliminating the double taxation of dividends in income tax, and introducing international tax transparency and tax neutrality in corporate restructuring procedures.

From 1996 to 2000, I was an economic and budgetary adviser to the Spanish Prime Minister. I was thus able to help define the government’s economic and budgetary policy by advising the Prime Minister and taking part in the meetings of the government’s Delegated Committee for Economic Affairs during a crucial period when Spain was facing a severe economic crisis and high rates of unemployment and did not meet the Maastricht criteria for membership of the monetary union. These years saw the launch of a programme of fiscal consolidation and improved budgeting and control procedures which, together with structural reforms and privatisation and liberalisation processes, enabled Spain to join the EMU from the outset and embark on a long period of growth and job creation. At that time I also coordinated, along with other departments, the Spanish position during the negotiations on ‘Agenda 2000’ which led to the adoption in 1999 of the European Union’s financial perspective for the period 2000-2007, and its position on the Lisbon Agenda.

Between May 2000 and August 2002 as first Secretary of State for Telecommunications and the Information Society, I had to set up a new government department and a new public body, ‘Red.es’, to promote the information society at a time when the sector was in crisis following the bursting of the technology bubble. It was during this period that we completed the process of telecommunications liberalisation, developed the legal framework for the information society and promoted measures to extend new technologies to administration, the education and healthcare system, and SMEs.

I have also had to make important decisions at other times in my career, such as when I was put in charge of setting up a new political foundation or on the various occasions when I have coordinated the drafting of my party’s election programmes.

Independence

3.      The Treaty stipulates that the Members of the Court of Auditors shall be ‘completely independent’ in the performance of their duties. How would you act on this obligation in the discharge of your prospective duties?

As a Member of the Court I will be bound by the Treaty of the European Union which lays down that Members of the Court of Auditors shall be completely independent in the performance of their duties, in the Union’s general interest, not seeking or taking instructions from any government or other body. It seems to me that, to ensure independence, a strict observance of the Court’s values of independence, objectivity, impartiality, professionalism, adding value, excellence and efficiency is essential. Likewise, compliance with the Court’s Rules of Procedure, the established audit procedures, the rules of the ISSAI Code of Ethics and its subsequent declarations, the Court’s own Ethical Guidelines, which are binding upon all the Court’s staff and most particularly upon its Members, and the Court’s own Code of Conduct for Members. I am happy to comply unreservedly with these codes of conduct.

For my part, I have, throughout my professional career as a civil servant, senior official and member of parliament, been subject to various codes on ethics and incompatible offices, established in law in Spain to ensure the general interest prevails.

4.      Have you been granted discharge for the management duties you carried out previously, if such a procedure applies?

I have never been subject to an official discharge procedure as this does not exist in Spanish law. However I have never had any legal complaints or objections concerning my work as a public administrator, or of any other kind. As Secretary of State my work was reviewed internally by the National Supervisory Authority and externally by the Court of Auditors through the National Accounts. No criticisms were made. As regards the public enterprise body Red.es, the Spanish Court of Auditors did make certain recommendations in an audit report in 2003 on how its management could be improved, but no aspersions were cast on either Red.es or its managers. Nor have there ever been any objections concerning my activities from any of the companies and public bodies where I was a member of the board of directors. When I was Secretary-General of the FAES Foundation, the management board reported to the Ministry of Culture’s Foundations Supervisory Department and to various ministries because of grants received, as well as publishing, although there was no legal obligation to do so, a private audit of its accounts.

5.      Do you have any business or financial holdings or any other commitments, which might conflict, with your prospective duties? Are you prepared to disclose all your financial interests and other commitments to the President of the Court and make them public? If you are involved in any current legal proceedings, would you please give details?

As a Spanish member of parliament, all information on my income, my financial assets and my activities is made public on the Congress of Deputies’ website.

I know that I cannot have any business or financial holdings or commitments that might conflict with my responsibilities as a Member of the Court of Auditors. In any event, I should be perfectly happy to inform the President of the Court of all my financial interests and other commitments and to make them public.

I am not involved in any ongoing legal proceedings.

6.      Are you prepared to step down from any elected office or give up any active function with responsibilities in a political party after your appointment as Court Member?

Should I be selected as a Member of the Court of Auditors I will resign from my post as an MP in the Spanish Parliament. I will also resign from my posts as member of my party’s national executive committee and as studies and programmes coordinator.

7.      How would you deal with a major irregularity or even fraud and/or corruption case involving persons in your Member State of origin?

Members of the Court must be completely independent in the performance of their duties, in the general interest of the Union, as laid down in Article 234 of the Treaty. The Court acts to safeguard the sound financial running of the Union institutions and in the interests of all the EU’s citizens and taxpayers. For this reason, as a Member of the Court of Auditors I will be required to act with the same independence, impartiality, objectivity and professionalism irrespective of the nationality of the people concerned. Should signs of fraud or corruption be discovered, I will inform the President of the Court and OLAF, in accordance with Decision 97-2004 of the Court of Auditors.

Performance of duties

8.      What should be the main features of a sound financial management culture in any public service?

The Union’s Financial Regulation lays down standard principles concerning the European Union’s budget, such as economy, efficiency and effectiveness. These principles must be put into practice through tight management, with well defined objectives and indicators and constant assessment of the suitability of the means employed and the results achieved. Where and to what extent public administrators’ have competence and responsibility must also be clearly determined, with appropriate internal control mechanisms and reporting times. Transparency, with citizens being able to obtain relevant information throughout the budgetary cycle, is a democratic requirement that incentivises good management and facilitates accountability.

New technologies can make a decisive contribution to achieving these objectives since when used appropriately they make it easier to both cut costs and monitor budgetary implementation and the results achieved. We should also seek to simplify administrative procedures so that, without cutting back on legal guarantees, government interference in society can be minimised. Professionalism among civil servants, with proper selection procedures, continuous education, appraisals, careers and a professional management role, helps to improve public administration.

In the current context of the financial crisis, strict compliance with the principles of sound management of public funds is especially important. It must be remembered that good financial management of the budget is first and foremost a democratic requirement, in that the budget serves the general interest and is funded by the taxpayers. Confidence that the budget is being well managed helps give the institutions legitimacy in the eyes of the general public. It is therefore particularly important that the internal and external control tools work as they should, to ensure that the budget is legal and complied with and to stop waste and fraud. Transparency, accountability and the constant appraisal of public policies need, in my opinion, to be strengthened more and more.

9.      Under the Treaty, the Court is required to assist Parliament in exercising its powers of control over the implementation of the budget. How would you describe your duties with regard to reporting to the European Parliament and, in particular, its Committee on Budgetary Control?

The European Parliament is responsible for approving the Commission's implementation of the EU budget, with reference to the annual report, statement of assurance and special reports provided by the Court of Auditors. According to Article 287 of the TFEU, the Court, as the body responsible for auditing the Union's accounts, is required to assist Parliament in exercising its powers of control over the implementation of the budget.

The Court is, therefore, a technical body which assists Parliament in exercising its powers of budgetary control. Since Parliament's work is organised through the Committee for Budgetary Control, relations between the Court and this committee and its members needs to be stable and fluid. The quality of the Court's reports is of essential importance in enabling Parliament to properly exercise its powers of control. The Court needs to organise and plan its reports in such a way as to facilitate Parliament's work. There needs to be constant, trustworthy cooperation between Parliament, through the Committee for Budgetary Control, and the Court of Auditors. Personally, it is my firm intention to always act in line with these principles and to be available at all times to work and collaborate with Parliament and the Committee on Budgetary Control.

10.    What added value do you think performance auditing brings and how should the findings be incorporated in management procedures?

I think that performance audits are an increasingly useful complement to financial auditing and legality and that their role is becoming more and more important. They can assist Parliament's work when it comes to making observations and recommendations on the European institutions' management and budgetary implementation. Recommendations made by the Court in performance audits can help to improve the design and implementation of public policies and the quality of the applicable rules.

Results auditing has to do with to public management and the observance of principles of economy, effectiveness and efficiency. It needs to focus on the achievement of the goals set by the various programmes, compliance with the established timescale, and the suitability of the resources and funds used. Results auditing also evaluates procedures and the way services are organised. It is able to show the extent to which the objectives set by the budget are being met and whether this is being done in an efficient manner.

Results auditing can lead to recommendations on how to make savings and improve management and is also a useful tool with which to assess and improve public policies. Results audits are particularly useful to managers, helping them to improve their work and simplify the planning and implementation of future programmes. For these reasons, I believe that the inclusion of results auditing in management procedures needs to involve cooperation and dialogue with managers themselves and monitoring of their action in response to the recommendations made.

11.    How could cooperation between the Court of Auditors, the national audit institutions and the European Parliament (Committee on Budgetary Control) on auditing of the EU budget be improved?

Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union says that audits can be carried out in the Member States in liaison with national audit bodies and that the Court and the national audit bodies should cooperate in a spirit of trust while maintaining their independence. This independence arises from their different roles: whereas the Court of Auditors is responsible before the European Parliament for external monitoring of the EU's accounts, the national courts of auditors answer to their respective national parliaments with regards to monitoring national budgets.

A substantial part of the EU's budget is implemented via the budgets and authorities of the Member States. Considerable savings, which could free up the Court's resources, could therefore be made by increasing cooperation with national courts.

Cooperation is currently channelled through the Contact Committee, which is made up of the heads of the national audit bodies and the President of the European Court of Auditors, and through bilateral working groups and contacts. As working procedures become more standardised, it will become easier for the Court of Auditors to rely on the work of national auditing bodies and for it to develop joint or coordinated audits to look at the ways in which European funds are used in the various Member States.

I think that the Court of Auditors itself, through its permanent collaboration and contact, its planning of its activities and its accountability to Parliament, is the most efficient mechanism with which to link the work of the national audit bodies with Parliament. Moreover, I think it is highly important to strengthen cooperation between the Court of Auditors and the national parliaments, which also have a constitutional interest in the good administration of public finances and taxpayers' resources.

Other questions

Would you withdraw your candidacy if Parliament's opinion on your appointment as Member of the Court were unfavourable?

I hope that I will be able to count on Parliament's full confidence, based on my professional record and committed independence, in line with the Treaty. I am also convinced that relations between the Court and Parliament need to develop in an environment of trust, dialogue and permanent cooperation. If, therefore, Parliament were to issue an unfavourable opinion of my professional ability, I would ask the Spanish Government to reconsider my appointment.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

9.2.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

11

3

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Jean-Pierre Audy, Inés Ayala Sender, Andrea Češková, Ryszard Czarnecki, Martin Ehrenhauser, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Iliana Ivanova, Bogusław Liberadzki, Jan Mulder, Eva Ortiz Vilella, Crescenzio Rivellini, Paul Rübig, Theodoros Skylakakis, Bart Staes, Georgios Stavrakakis, Michael Theurer

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Amelia Andersdotter, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Edit Herczog, Monika Hohlmeier, Ivailo Kalfin, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Olle Schmidt, Derek Vaughan

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Carmen Fraga Estévez, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Esther Herranz García

Last updated: 13 February 2012Legal notice