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Thursday, 10 May 2012 - Brussels Final edition
Discharge 2010: EU general budget, European Parliament
P7_TA(2012)0155A7-0120/2012
Decision
 Resolution

European Parliament decision of 10 May 2012 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2010, Section I – European Parliament (COM(2011)0473 – C7-0257/2011 – 2011/2202(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2010(1) ,

–  having regard to the annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2010 (COM(2011)0473 – C7-0257/2011)(2) ,

–  having regard to the report on budgetary and financial management - Section I - European Parliament - Financial year 2010(3) ,

–  having regard to the Internal Auditor's annual report for the financial year 2010,

–  having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2010, together with the institutions' replies(4) ,

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(5) 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 2010 pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 314(10) and Article 318 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(6) , and in particular Articles 145, 146 and 147 thereof,

–  having regard to Article 13 of the Internal Rules on the implementation of the European Parliament's budget(7) ,

–  having regard to Article 147(1) of the Financial Regulation, which requires each Union institution to take all appropriate steps to act on the observations accompanying the European Parliament's discharge decision,

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2009 on the guidelines for the 2010 budget procedure – Sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX(8) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 May 2009 on the estimates of revenue and expenditure of Parliament for the financial year 2010(9) ,

–  having regard to Rules 77 and 80(3) of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0120/2012),

A.  whereas the audit of the Court of Auditors stated that, as regards administrative expenditure in 2010, all the institutions satisfactorily operated the supervisory and control systems required by the Financial Regulation and 93 % of the 58 payments audited were free from material error,

B.  whereas the Secretary-General certified, on 16 June 2011, his reasonable assurance that Parliament's budget has been implemented in accordance with the principles of sound financial management and that the control framework put in place provides the necessary guarantees as to the legality and regularity of the underlying operations,

1.  Grants its President discharge in respect of the implementation of the European Parliament budget for the financial year 2010;

2.  Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the resolution that forms an integral part thereof to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Court of Auditors, the European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ L 64, 12.3.2010.
(2) OJ C 332, 14.11.2011, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 167, 7.6.2011, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 326, 10.11.2011, p. 1.
(5) OJ C 332, 14.11.2011, p. 134.
(6) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(7) PE 349.540/Bur/ann/def.
(8) OJ C 87 E, 1.4.2010, p. 327.
(9) OJ C 212 E, 5.8.2010, p. 244.


2.European Parliament resolution of 10 May 2012 with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2010, Section I – European Parliament (COM(2011)0473 – C7-0257/2011 – 2011/2202(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2010(1) ,

–  having regard to the annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2010 (COM(2011)0473 – C7-0257/2011)(2) ,

–  having regard to the report on budgetary and financial management - Section I - European Parliament - Financial year 2010(3) ,

–  having regard to the Internal Auditor's annual report for the financial year 2010,

–  having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2010, together with the institutions' replies(4) ,

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(5) 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 2010 pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 314(10) and Article 318 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(6) (the Financial Regulation), and in particular Articles 145, 146 and 147 thereof,

–  having regard to Article 13 of the Internal Rules on the implementation of the European Parliament's budget(7) ,

–  having regard to Article 147(1) of the Financial Regulation, which requires each Union institution to take all appropriate steps to act on the observations accompanying the European Parliament's discharge decision,

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2009 on the guidelines for the 2010 budget procedure – Sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX(8) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 May 2009 on the estimates of revenue and expenditure of Parliament for the financial year 2010(9) ,

–  having regard to Rules 77 and 80(3) of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0120/2012),

A.  whereas the audit of the Court of Auditors stated that, as regards administrative expenditure in 2010, all the institutions satisfactorily operated the supervisory and control systems required by the Financial Regulation and 93 % of the 58 payments audited were free from material error,

B.  whereas the Secretary-General certified, on 16 June 2011, his reasonable assurance that Parliament's budget has been implemented in accordance with the principles of sound financial management and that the control framework put in place provides the necessary guarantees as to the legality and regularity of the underlying operations,

C.  whereas some issues raised in the course of the discussions on the 2010 discharge in the Committee on Budgetary Control went beyond the specific 2010 issues, and were included in wide-ranging questions from the Committee, this resolution remains principally focussed on the budget implementation and discharge for the financial year 2010, whilst acknowledging that approaches to budgetary matters are a subject for wider discussion particularly in the working group being established to consider European Parliament costs and possible savings, and in line with the 2013 budget guidelines adopted on 8 February 2012, seeking to make significant long-term savings, through an independent evaluation of the European Parliament budget leading to proposals by the end of 2012 followed by their rapid implementation,

Budget implementation challenges in 2010

1.  Points out that implementation of the budget in 2010 was challenging as that was the first full year of operations after the 2009 European elections and took place in the context of continuing financial problems in the Union;

2.  Observes that Parliament's budget (final appropriations totalling EUR 1 616 760 399, compared to EUR 1 529 970 930 in 2009) was just under a fifth (19.99 %; 19,67 % in 2009, therefore below the usual 20 % share) of Heading V (Administration expenditure) in the general budget of the European Union for 2010;

3.  Notes the reply given by Parliament's Secretariat to the effect that the annual cost of Parliament's seat in Strasbourg stood at precisely EUR 51 500 000 in 2010, comprising EUR 33 500 000 in infrastructure costs and EUR 18 000 000 in operating costs for the 12 monthly part-sessions; points out that these official figures are far lower than the estimates previously put forward, which ranged from EUR 169 000 000 to EUR 203 000 000; noting however that in the 2006 estimates the Administration calculated the annual saving with a single place of work at EUR 204 million and in 2010 at EUR 180 million, a lower figure after the purchase of the Strasbourg buildings and information technology improvements, and recalls that in its 2013 estimates, the European Parliament voted 429-184 in favour of a single seat to save costs;

4.  Notes that the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty increased Parliament's powers, activities and legislative workload, requiring major changes to its organisation and working methods in order to build on legislative excellence and to continue the preparations for the enlargement of the Union to include Croatia; further notes that, in order to respond to the new challenges, measures were adopted to improve cost efficiency through increased productivity, staff redeployments and improved working methods;

5.  Notes that the adoption of an amending budget (No 1/2010 adopted on 19 May 2010) of EUR 9 397 164 was necessary to finance additional expenditure resulting directly from the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty; further notes that this amending budget strengthened, in particular, two budget items (Item 1 2 0 0 ‘Remuneration and allowances’ and Item 4 2 2 0/01 ‘Parliamentary assistance: local assistants’) in order to enhance assistance to Members for carrying out their increased legislative tasks; regrets however that this increase was not substantially reduced by further-reaching savings;

6.  Notes that the year saw consolidation and further modernisation of the administration, with a stronger focus on core activities, restructuring of services, better use of modern technologies and increased interinstitutional cooperation;

7.  Points out that 2010 was the first year in which the new Statute for Members and the Statute for Assistants (both effective as of 14 July 2009) were implemented in full with the entry into force of a set of modifications to the Implementing Measures for both Statutes, proposed by the Temporary Evaluation Group, and that these represented significant additional tasks for Parliament's administration;

8.  Notes the adoption, by the Bureau, on 24 March 2010, of a medium-term ICT Strategy (and in particular the Knowledge Management System - KMS - forming part of it) and a medium-term building policy, both of which have a substantial financial dimension;

Report on budgetary and financial management

9.  Notes that, in 2010, Parliament received revenue amounting to EUR 243 094 204 (EUR 141 250 059 in 2009), which included EUR 110 298 523 in assigned revenue;

Presentation of Parliament's accounts

10.  Takes note of the figures on the basis of which Parliament's accounts for the financial year 2010 were closed, namely:

(a) Available appropriations (EUR)

appropriations for 2010:

1 616 760 399

non-automatic carry-overs from financial year 2009:

10 100 000

automatic carry-overs from financial year 2009:

180 265 823

appropriations corresponding to assigned revenue for 2010:

110 298 523

carry-overs corresponding to assigned revenue from 2009:

20 637 870

Total:

1 938 062 615

(b) Utilisation of appropriations in the financial year 2010 (EUR)

commitments:

1 772 219 308

payments made:

1.506.555.191

appropriations carried forward automatically including those arising from assigned revenue:

341.046.482

appropriations carried forward non-automatically:

9 240 000

appropriations cancelled:

80 650 726

(c) Budgetary receipts (EUR)

received in 2010:

243 094 204

(d) Total balance sheet at 31 December 2010 (EUR)

1 612 914 353

11.  Notes that, in 2010, 96 % (93 % in 2009) of the final appropriations were committed, with a cancellation rate of 4 % (6,7 % in 2009), and that, as in previous years, a very high level of budget implementation was achieved;

12.  Notes however the significant carry-overs into 2010 (EUR 190 365 823(10) ), resulting, to a large extent, from the particular nature of the 2009 election year, and calls for improved planning of expenditure that will take this into account in the run up to future European elections;

13.  Notes that this overall high level of implementation is partly due to two targeted transfers made before the end of the financial year 2010 (EUR 9 240 000 for the purchase of a Europe House in Sofia and EUR 10 923 000 for four major IT projects); welcomes the fact that for the second time no mopping-up transfers took place between 2010 and 2011; urges however, its administration to pursue the objective of better and clearer budget planning and discipline in the future and notes that to put buildings, IT or any other important expenditure in the budget would provide full financial clarity; believes that all significant expenditure should be fully planned for in the annual budget and not arise as a result of a need to mop-up underspends;

Statement of assurance by the Secretary-General

14.  Welcomes the Secretary-General's statement dated 16 June 2011 in his capacity as Principal Authorising Officer by delegation, concerning the authorising officers' annual activity reports for 2010, in which he certifies that he has a reasonable assurance that Parliament's budget has been implemented in accordance with the principles of sound financial management and that the control framework put in place provides the necessary guarantees as to the legality and regularity of the underlying operations;

Annual report on contracts awarded

15.  Notes that central services established, on the basis of information provided by authorising departments, the annual report(11) to the budgetary authority on contracts awarded in 2010 and further notes the following breakdown of all contracts awarded in 2009 and 2010:

Type of contract

2010

2009

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Services

Supplies

Works

Building

143

40

27

4

67 %

19 %

12 %

2 %

157

56

34

5

62 %

22 %

14 %

2 %

Total

214

100 %

252

100 %

Type of contract

2010

2009

Value (EUR)

Percentage

Value (EUR)

Percentage

Services

Supplies

Works

Building

149 463 916

45 467 211

22 128 145

22 269 303

63 %

19 %

9 %

9 %

415 344 963

34 980 727

36 045 314

70 394 138

75 %

6 %

6 %

13 %

Total

239 328 575

100 %

556 765 142

100 %

(Annual report on the contracts awarded by the European Parliament, 2010, p. 5)

16.  Notes the breakdown of contracts awarded in 2010 and 2009 by type of procedure used as follows:

Type of procedure

2010

2009

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Open

Restricted

Negotiated

72

5

137

34 %

2 %

64 %

73

13

166

29 %

5 %

66 %

Total

214

100 %

252

100 %

Type of procedure

2010

2009

Value (EUR)

Percentage

Value (EUR)

Percentage

Open

Restricted

Negotiated

143 603 024

2 129 576

93 595 975

60 %

1 %

39 %

415 996 418

9 458 434

131 310 290

75 %

2 %

23 %

Total

239 328 575

100 %

556 765 142

100 %

(Annual report on the contracts awarded by the European Parliament, 2010, pp. 6-7)

Exceptional negotiated procedures

17.  Welcomes the fact that, starting with 2010, all Directorates General give details in an annex attached to their Annual Activity Reports on the contracts awarded using the exceptional negotiated procedure, giving the reasons why this procedure was used, along with other information required in paragraph 50 of the resolution of 5 May 2010(12) on discharge in respect of the implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2008, Section I - European Parliament;

18.  Acknowledges as positive the reversed trend in 2010 (as compared to 2009 and previous years) in the number of exceptional negotiated procedures, in respect of all contracts with a value greater than EUR 25 000(13) , as shown in the following breakdown:

General Directorate

2010

2009

Number

% of DG's total contracts

Number

% of DG's total contracts

DG PRES

5

50,00 %

14

53,85 %

DG IPOL

2

5,56 %

0

0,00 %

DG EXPO

0

0,00 %

1

50,00 %

DG COMM

8

14,81 %

29

42,03 %

DG PERS

0

0,00 %

1

16,67 %

DG INLO

24

30,00 %

37

38,14 %

DG INTE

3

27,27 %

3

21,43 %

DG TRAD

0

0,00 %

0

0,00 %

DG ITEC

7

53,85 %

4

36,36 %

DG FINS

0

0,00 %

0

0,00 %

Legal Service

0

0,00 %

0

0,00 %

Parliament, total

49

22,90 %

89

35,32 %

(Annual report on the contracts awarded by the European Parliament, 2010, p. 11)

19.  Calls on the Directorates General which still have high figures, in particular DG INLO, to further reduce the number/proportion of such procedures; urges the administration to continue the strict scrutiny of these procedures, in particular with respect to possible conflicts of interest, and to apply intensified and dissuasive sanctions for any irregularity found; calls on the Secretary-General to report on a six-monthly basis to the Committee on Budgetary Control on progress made;

20.  Welcomes the establishment by DG PRES of a procurement section within the Unit for Planning, Budgetary Management and Contracts as this will increase the transparency of the public procedures;

Annual Report of the Court of Auditors for 2010
General findings

21.  Welcomes the fact that the audit of the Court of Auditors found the payments as a whole to be free from material error and that the Court of Auditors found no material weaknesses when assessing the compliance of the supervisory and control systems with the Financial Regulation;

Management of the subsidy scheme for visitors' groups

22.  Notes the Court of Auditors' finding that the procedures in place in 2010, which did not require evidence of actual travel costs and which included cash payments to group leaders, presented a risk of overpayment and limited the possibility of applying internal controls to such payments, and takes note of the  adoption of recent changes to this system; points out however that Members have still the option to request cash payment to groups of visitors; requests the Secretary-General to seek the opinion of the Court of Auditors on the amended rules;   

Employment of contract agents

23.  Notes with disappointment that the Court of Auditors found that, in four out of the five, i.e. in no less than 80%, of the cases audited, the documentation relating to the examination of applications, the performance of interviews and the decisions made to select contract staff was incomplete, without any adverse consequences for the staff involved and therefore without incentives for them to improve the situation; agrees with the Court of Auditors' recommendation that full documentation for internal control purposes should henceforth be ensured;

Procurement

24.  Regrets that the Court of Auditors found errors, inconsistencies and other weaknesses in the procurement procedures of Parliament that it audited; points out the recent measures taken to improve these procedures and encourages its administration to make further improvements in this area of work; welcomes development of the IT tool Webcontracts, established in 2010, which allows contract work to be carried out online;

25.  Calls on the Bureau to reconsider all control mechanisms for public procurement in order to guarantee the most competitive prices for the goods and services that are offered;

Organisation and functioning of political groups

26.  Notes the finding of the Court of Auditors in relation to carry-overs of unused appropriations by political groups and the division of European election years into two halves for the purposes of calculating permitted carry-over; takes the view that, in order to avoid any future recurrence of the difficulties which arose at the beginning of 2010, the whole of any future election year should be used to calculate carry-over for political groups which do not cease to function following an election;

27.  Notes that while it has been claimed that written questions from the public are in general answered within two weeks, there is at present no system in place whereby questions from Members to the President or the Secretary-General are answered in the same amount of time;

Follow-up by the Secretary General to the 2009 discharge resolution

28.  Notes with satisfaction the promptness and extent of written answers in respect of the 2009 discharge resolution provided to the Committee on Budgetary Control on 6 October 2011 and the quality of the exchange of views between the Secretary-General and the Committee on Budgetary Control during the follow-up of the 2009 discharge exercise on 11 October 2011;

29.  Welcomes the various responses to a number of requests made in the above-mentioned resolution and looks forward to the completion of the follow-up of the following requests expressed in that resolution:

   (i) to make a comprehensive evaluation covering changes in staff as well as the development of expenditure in all services concerned by the implementation of the new Statutes (of Members and of Assistants) and to forward this to its competent committees, together with an action plan and an assessment of direct and indirect financial implications for Parliament's budget for the coming five years, including the provision to be made for possible extra office space, removal and costs for renovations/ alterations (paragraph 7);
   (ii) to receive information on the costs of externalising the computing centres in comparison to previous costs in its forthcoming activity report (paragraph 37);
   (iii) to take a formal decision on the abolition of the Prize for Journalism (paragraph 93);
   (iv) to report on the total amount of savings that were made including those as a result of further rationalisation of the missions between the three working places (paragraph 102);
   (v) to propose strict rules applicable to all Members to ensure that the General Expenditure allowance is transparent in all cases and that it is only used for the purposes for which it is intended;

30.  Requests the Secretary-General to report to Parliament's competent committee, by 31 October 2012 at the latest, on the action taken or to be taken;

The Internal Auditor's annual report

31.  Welcomes the fact that a firm of external assessors has certified that the Internal Audit Service is at the highest level of conformity with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing;

32.  Notes that, at the competent committee's meeting held on 24 January 2012, the Internal Auditor presented his annual report signed 15 July 2011 and explained that, in 2010, he performed the following audit work on Parliament's administration:

   follow-up to the audits of the individual entitlements of staff;
   audit of Visitors' Groups;
   follow-up to the audit of staff mission expenses;
   follow-up to the review of internal controls over long-term contracts;
   follow-up to the review of IT Governance - Planning and Organisation;
   audit of the establishment of the Payroll;
   audit of the Public Procurement Process and of Contract Implementation in DG ITEC;
   follow-up to the audit of the Parliamentary Assistance Allowance;

33.  Notes and supports the views expressed by the Internal Auditor concerning the need:

   to complete all overdue actions as soon as possible, and in particular the critical ones, in order to improve DG Personnel's governance processes, control environment and control activities in the area of individual entitlements of staff and to complete the four outstanding actions in the field of staff mission expenses identified in Internal Audit Report 10/04 of 6 May 2011 on the follow-up to the original 2008 audit;
   for changes to the financial provisions of the internal rules governing the reception of Visitors' Groups in order to align financing more closely with costs actually incurred by the visitors;
   to complete the 20 overdue actions in the field of IT governance;

Nature and purpose of internal audit reports

34.  Refers to its comments, contained in previous discharge resolutions, on internal audit reports; recognises that internal audit reports serve as tools for improvements in systems and performance, and can only be properly interpreted when changes and results are completed, based on their recommendations; points out however that the ongoing review of the Financial Regulation deals with the question of availability of these reports on request taking on board the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union on that matter;

MANAGEMENT OF PARLIAMENT'S ADMINISTRATION
Activity reports by the Directors-General

35.  Observes with satisfaction that all Directors-General were able to give an unreserved statement of assurance in respect of the implementation of the budget by their services in 2010; is aware that the activity reports are an internal management tool the primary purpose of which is to give the Secretary-General a clear overview of the workings of the administration, and in particular, of any weaknesses;

Risk Manager

36.  Notes with satisfaction that the Risk Manager took up his appointment on 1 June 2010 and reports directly to the Secretary-General; welcomes the publication on 16 December 2011 of a Risk Management Manual and reiterates its request that its competent committee receive the Risk Manager's annual activity report for 2010 and be kept informed of developments in the implementation of Parliament's new risk management policy;

37.  Requests that its competent committee be informed before the end of September 2012 on the approach and action taken in order to identify and manage sensitive posts;

DG Presidency (DG PRES)
Security

38.  Notes a slight decrease in the budget devoted to security from EUR 45 980 000 to EUR 45 590 000 between 2009 and 2010; welcomes the continued decreasing trend in the 2011 budget expenditure (final appropriations: EUR 42 830 000) compared to 2010 and the adoption by the Bureau in July 2011 of the Global Security Concept providing more modern and efficient security for Parliament;

39.  Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to make it mandatory for Members to show their badges when going in and out of Parliament's premises; suggests that Member's badges are also submitted to electronic control;  

40.  Insists that reinforcing the security of Parliament's buildings and their immediate surroundings must be given the highest priority; requests that as part of this work security in the car parks should be improved, and that the access to the parts of the buildings containing Members' offices in Parliament should be controlled;

41.  Stresses the fact that thefts occurred in Members' offices while they were locked which proves that there is a low level of office security; calls on the Secretary-General to take urgent measures in order to improve the current situation;

42.  Is concerned about the low security level in the parking premises of Parliament; notes that several cars have been intentionally damaged in the car park in Brussels; calls on the Bureau to take the appropriate actions to improve the situation;

43.  Reiterates its request to the Secretary General to come forward, by 30 June 2012, with proposals for a more effective, secure and fraudproof signing system (including an examination of the opening hours for signing), and in particular for a possible future electronic signing system for Members both for signing documents (such as amendments) and for recording their presence by digital signature, even though it is aware that only minimal impact is to be expected in terms of costs or savings;

44.  Notes with satisfaction that following the decision of the Bureau on 5 July 2010 the internalisation of the accreditation services is now being finalised; expects the new accreditation system to provide an improved and more efficient service; considers that Parliament's security must continue to be improved and modernised, and, to that end, professionalised in the proper way, primarily by means of specific selection and recruitment procedures and the necessary in-service, further, and refresher training; looks forward with interest to the development of the new global concept of security, especially the differentiation between ‘zoning' areas, which will bring a substantial improvement, not least as regards the security problems concerning Members’ offices;

Restructuring

45.  Notes that there was a major restructuring of DG PRES in 2010; welcomes the centralisation of financial functions, of the planning and management of procurement and of security within a Resource Directorate created in March 2010;

DG Internal Policies (DG IPOL) and External Policies (DG EXPO)

46.  Recalls the political importance of delegations in Parliament´s work inside and outside the Union; notes, however, the apparently wide disparity in costs per Member per day (ranging from EUR 1 400 to EUR 5 300) on different delegations, particularly those outside the Union; calls on its Bureau, in collaboration with all DGs concerned, to develop principles for a more economic and uniform cost structure for delegation visits, in particular taking account of their political importance and duration, and the optimum ratio of Members to staff; calls for the development of an IT budget consolidation system which will give detailed information of the budget for each delegation and will improve the management of spending; calls in future, where travel is undertaken by delegations, for a detailed statement of costs for all those travelling;

DG Communication (DG COMM)

47.  Is concerned that, except in relation to the Legislative Observatory costs, budget line 3 2 4 2 (Publication, information and participation in public events) is not sufficiently transparent; considers that expenditure in the sub-item 3 2 4 2/01 in particular should be itemised to improve transparency in future accounting years;

Visitors´centre (Parlamentarium)

48.  Notes that commitments entered into against Item 3 2 4 3 ‘Visitors’ Centre' increased significantly (+227 %) in contrast with the underspend in 2009 and amounted to EUR 12 725 985; points to the major problem with security of false ceilings that delayed the project in 2010 and obliged the administration to cancel EUR 1 000 000 that was then automatically carried over from 2009 to 2010; notes that the total estimated costs are EUR 20 530 000, an increase of 15,3 % compared to 2007; asks for safeguards so that other multi-million euro plans will not see similar increases;

49.  Welcomes the opening of the Visitors' Centre on 14 October 2011 (originally planned for the 2009 European elections); deplores however the considerable delay and cost overrun of this project; calls for a review of the Visitors' Centre once it has been operational for a twelve month period in order to assess the public reaction, its strengths/weaknesses, and its cost/benefits with a view to ensuring it is delivering value for money;

House of European History

50.  Notes that, on 5 July 2010, the Bureau adopted Parliament's updated Communication Strategy which included the project of the House of European History and that, in September 2010, an international jury examined that project; further notes that use was not made of budget chapter 1 0 6 ‘Reserve for priority projects under development’ for this project as all the appropriations of that chapter (EUR 5 000 000) were transferred to chapter 2 1 0 ‘Computing and telecommunications’; insists that the total financial implications of the project be made available, especially in light of the complications raised by the subterranean Maalbeek River flowing under the building's foundations; reiterates its expectation that the cost plan contained in the Business Plan be strictly adhered to;

51.  Regrets that decisions taken by the Bureau and other bodies concerning the House of European History were not based on the full ‘estimated’ final costs involved in establishing a fully operational project; advises the Bureau and the Questors not to approve any project or initiative in future for which no total financial estimate for direct or indirect costs is presented;

Visitors' groups

52.  Recognises the importance of the visitors' scheme in raising awareness of Parliament and its legislative work; notes the recent changes made to the visitor group payment system put in place since 2010 and calls for an evaluation of the new payment system and reimbursement scheme showing the evolution of costs and the degree to which payments reflect the actual costs incurred by the groups; suggests to the Court of Auditors that it should follow this up and looks forward to the Internal Auditor's remarks on the implementation of the new system;

53.  Urges Parliament's administration to report to Parliament on experience in general with the amended rules governing the size of official visitors' groups, and in particular on the effects of these rules on organisation and capacity utilisation;

54.  Voices its concern – for obvious security reasons and having regard to Parliament's image – at the fact that the institution gives large sums in cash to visitor group leaders;

WebTV

55.  Regrets that EuroparlTV cannot be considered to be a success story in view of its very low number of direct individual users(14) (excluding viewers through partnership agreements with regional TVs) in spite of the considerable financing that it received in 2010, amounting to some EUR 9 000 000 (item 3 2 4 6); welcomes the efforts made to reduce this budget by 14 % (to EUR 8 000 000) in 2011 and in the subsequent years; recognises with regret, however, that further subsidy cannot be justified and calls on the Secretary-General to present proposals to its competent committee for the closure of the operation;

Prizes

56.  Notes that the costs relating to the LUX Prize in 2010 were EUR 380 666,18; is concerned that the costs rose for the event in 2011 to EUR 573 722,08 (by over 50 %) and looks forward to a sharp reverse in this trend from 2012 onwards; specifically requests that the following activities be curtailed in order to contain costs:

   expensive internal promotion within the buildings of Parliament,
   promotional activities at international film festivals,
   the large expenditure associated with the costs of organising ‘mini-LUX’ events in the Member States;

57.  Notes the expenditure of the prizes for the period 2009-2011:

2009

2010

2011

Prize for Journalism

€105 000

€118 059

€154 205

Sakharov Prize

€300 000

€654 542

€652 348

Charlemagne Youth Prize

€24 000

€34 000

€35 000

LUX prize

€320 000

€380 666

€573 722

Totals:

€749 000

€1 187 267

€1 415 275

58.  Believes that the 89 % increase in the expenditure on the prizes between 2009 and 2011 used funds that could have been better deployed elsewhere; calls for future expenditure on prizes to be brought back down to the levels of 2009;

59.  Notes that costs relating to the Prize for Journalism in 2010 were EUR 118 059, an increase of 18 % on 2009 figure; is concerned that the costs rose for the event in 2011 by more than a quarter, and requests that a full cost-benefit analysis be carried out before any initiatives are developed in this field of relations with the press or any other field, now that the Prize has been terminated;

60.  Does not consider the prizes to be a core activity of Parliament and requests that a cost-benefit analysis be carried out before any new prize initiatives are developed, so as to take the continuing deteriorating financial and economic situation in all Member States into account;

Information offices/Europa Houses

61.  Notes the establishment of a Resource Directorate in the DG in 2010 to carry out, inter alia, the centralised co-ordination of public procurement, thereby enabling the decentralised information offices to be affected less by the practice of moving key staff from sensitive posts;

62.  Notes that the 978 missions from Parliament's 32 information offices to Brussels and Strasbourg cost in total EUR 944 330,- which was on average EUR 701 - for a mission to Brussels and EUR 1 064 - for a mission to Strasbourg; notes that a mission from Luxembourg to Brussels costs on average EUR 250, while a mission from Luxembourg to Strasbourg cost on average EUR 630; requests to be provided, in the future, with the average cost per mission as well (page 68 of the replies to the questionnaire);

Washington Liaison Office

63.  Notes the opening in April 2010 of the EP Liaison Office (EPLO) in Washington and the system of one-year missions for four officials put in place in October 2010; observes that, although the creation of the Washington Office has not entailed the creation of any new posts, other costs have inevitably been incurred; would like to be informed of the level of those costs for 2011 and 2012; calls for a review of its structure, activities and costs to be presented to the Bureau with copies to the relevant competent committees;

DG Personnel (DG PERS)

64.  Welcomes the fact that the DG has been able to improve performance due to the outsourcing of certain functions (such as crèche management) and the increased use of IT in the management of personnel files; welcomes the implementation of the IT application Streamline;

65.  Notes the impact of the Council's decision of December 2009 to award an annual salary adjustment of only 1,85 %, instead of the 3,7 % indicated and proposed by the Commission, resulting in outstanding commitments (just under EUR 6 000 000 or 1,4 %) for Item 1 2 0 0 ‘Remuneration and allowances’;

66.  Notes that the total establishment plan for Parliament was set at 6 285 posts: 5 348 (or 85,1 %) for Parliament's Secretariat and 937 (or 14,9 %) for the Political Groups, representing an increase from 2009 to 2010 of 3,35 % (+204 posts), largely resulting from Parliament's increased responsibilities, following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009;

67.  Takes note of the changes to the Secretariat's structure, which were adopted by the Bureau in 2009 and which took effect at the beginning of 2010, in preparation for the new parliamentary term, particularly with a view to strengthening services for Members; observes that these changes led, in particular, to the restructuring of DG PRES, DG PERS and DG INLO, and also involved the creation of a resource directorate in DG PRES, DG IPOL, DG EXPO and DG COMM, namely, the four directorates-general with an essentially political remit;

68.  Notes that, at 31 December 2010, a majority of staff in the Secretariat (58,4 %) and within the administrators' function group (51,7 % female) were women; welcomes that, at the level of senior and middle management, the proportion of female directors-general increased in 2010 (to 36,4 %, that is, four out of 11) and heads of unit (to 26,2 %);

69.  Points to the difficulties in recruiting officials or agents from certain Member States such as Germany, the UK, Austria or the Netherlands for which the proportion of staff in Parliament's Secretariat is significantly lower than the ‘demographic weight’ of the given country within the Union(15) and observes the relatively high numbers of staff of holding the nationality of Belgium (13,6 %) or Luxemburg (2,3 %), as a result of the working places of Parliament; asks the Bureau to review recruitment procedures and requirements to ascertain what part they may play in creating difficulties in recruiting staff ;

Missions to the three places of work / Mission costs

70.  Notes that, in 2010, there were 33 200 missions (official trips) representing a total of 98 629 mission days, most of them involving travel between Parliament's three places of work; reiterates the need to avoid unnecessary missions between the three working places and the costs they entail with more systematic and documentary justifications and better monitoring; requests that the Secretary General report, as part of the discharge procedure, on any savings made as a result of further rationalisation and on further initiatives that have been taken or that are in preparation leading to fewer missions; is further of the opinion that, in general, no committee meeting should take place  in Strasbourg  with the exception of those committees of which the agenda is directly linked to the reports or discussions on that week's part session's agenda; encourages the Court of Auditors to further analyse the existing mission procedures and to provide recommendations in order to improve their efficiency; asks the Secretary-General specifically to review the posts based outside of Brussels, particularly for those staff members who undertake repeated missions to Brussels, to ascertain if they need to be relocated; suggests that the agreement with the Luxembourg authorities, which fixes the number of Parliament staff based in Luxembourg without regard to any evolving needs of Parliament, may need to be revised;

Members and Assistants' Statutes

71.  Notes with satisfaction that the switch to this new employment system has been broadly budget neutral, with approximately 15 members of staff administering the employment of around 1400 assistants and looks forward to receiving a copy of the report on that new employment system's implementation, its total indirect and direct costs, including the unemployment benefits paid out by the Commission;

72.  Notes that the Court of Auditors' findings concerning shortcomings in the documentation and traceability of costs for assistants' missions undertaken by private cars has not been remedied yet; urges Parliament's administration to find a transparent and traceable solution for the matter, as soon as possible;

DG Infrastructures and Logistics (DG INLO)
Buildings/property policy

73.  Notes the medium- and long-term property policy (buildings strategy) adopted by the Bureau on 24 March 2010 and its main parameters:

   (i) purchase rather than rent in line with the recommendations of the Court of Auditors;
   (ii) early payment of costs linked to property policy (i.e. paying off loans as rapidly as possible);
   (iii) geographic concentration of buildings in the three workplaces;
   (iv) special emphasis on building maintenance and renovation;
   (v) integration of Parliament as much as possible into the urban environment;
   (vi) making Parliament as accessible as possible for persons with a disability and implement the highest standards on safety, health and well-being of persons;
   (vii) making Parliament as environmentally-friendly as possible;

74.  Notes that the European Council, whilst justifiably calling for austerity on the part of Parliament, continues to deny it the opportunity to make the considerable savings that would arise from ceasing to hold meetings in Strasbourg;

75.  Notes that building maintenance, upkeep, operation and cleaning rose for all three workplaces from EUR 33 700 000 in total for 2009, to EUR 38 700 000 for 2010 and that forecasts show further rises for the years 2011-2013 except for a small decrease in Luxembourg costs in the year 2013; notes, furthermore, the energy and utilities consumption with less dramatic but consistent increases for the same time period;

76.  Notes the significantly reduced lease payments in 2010 (EUR 5 700 000 compared to EUR 58 600 000 in 2008 - the highest sum of recent years), notes the less extreme fluctuations in rental costs (EUR 25 300 000 in 2010, compared with a high of EUR 31 200 000 in 2006 and a low of EUR 19 900 000 in 2007) and also notes the varied amounts spent on buildings from a high of EUR 165 900 000 in 2006, to zero in 2009 and EUR 20 200 000 in 2010;

77.  Notes with satisfaction that, according to the responses received to the discharge questionnaire, estimates indicate that, if the institution had been renting all its buildings, it would have had to make provision, in its 2010 budget, for additional costs of EUR 163 000 000, equivalent to 10 % of its total budget; supports, therefore, this policy of purchase rather than rent, which has been strongly recommended by the Court of Auditors for several years, most recently in its Special Report No 2/2007 on property expenditure;

78.  Notes that the works to remove asbestos from three buildings in Strasbourg in 2010, which cost EUR 2 464 701, were largely reimbursed by the City of Strasbourg which contributed EUR 2 015 000;

79.  Notes that, on 27 January 2010, the Belgian State reimbursed to Parliament the sum of EUR 85 987 000 in the context of its defrayal of the cost of the land forming the site for the Willy Brandt and József Antall buildings and of the development costs for the roof over the Brussels-Luxembourg railway station; points out that this amount has been entered in the accounts as ‘assigned revenue’ in accordance with the Financial Regulation and has been used to finance property projects;

80.  Notes the purchase in 2010 of the REMARD Building in Brussels (EUR 11 000 000) and the decision to purchase the Europe House in Sofia (EUR 9 240 000); regrets that, due to the restricted market, the costs of maintenance, renovation and purchase are unnecessary high, and it is difficult to maintain the confidentiality of negotiations ; considers that a proposed requirement under the revised Financial Regulation for the institutions to publish their building plans for a number of years ahead would result in an appreciable cost to the institutions and the taxpayer;

81.  Observes that allowing direct financing of buildings in the revised Financial Regulation would have a positive effect as it would enable Parliament to use loans without calling in third parties, thus reducing costs and increasing transparency at the same time; points out that this is already the case with the financing of the KAD building in Luxemburg for which a partnership with the European Investment Bank, which is providing 50 % of the funds, has been agreed;

82.  Demands in this connection a detailed financial statement of the costs already incurred, and those projected for the next 20 years, in respect of the KAD building in Luxembourg, and insists that the expected total costs of construction, estimated operating costs and other expenditure arising in connection with the construction and operation of this building, be published in detail;

83.  Welcomes the assurance of the Secretary-General that there are no longer any assigned offices for lobbyists or foundations, but notes that, until 31 December 2011, the Pegasus foundation and the Kangaroo Group did have offices at their disposal in the buildings of Parliament;

84.  Regrets that office space was used in 2010 by accredited lobbying organisations, thus creating preferential treatment to these organisations in respect of Union taxpayer resources;

Catering facilities

85.  Reiterates its call for more diverse catering options within the buildings of Parliament by ceasing to offer a monopoly to a single catering provider when current contracts reach the end of their term;

DG Translation (DG TRAD) and DG Interpretation and Conferences (DG INTE)

86.  Notes that a total of 1 721 191 pages was translated in 2010 (1 033 176 of them - or 60 % - internally) and welcomes the fact that all documents required for votes were produced on time by DG TRAD and 90 % of translations overall were within the time limits set down for delivery, despite the fact that 65 % of requests for translation were placed late (i.e. outside the ten working days provided in the Code of Conduct on Multilingualism);

87.  Notes with satisfaction that DG TRAD is moving towards greater productivity and a more effective use of its budget, while ensuring that multilingualism is maintained; stresses, in this context, that internal productivity has increased from 1500 pages per year to 1800 pages; would welcome the publication of productivity figures per language unit;

88.  Notes, however, that after an increase of more than 10 % in the rate of compliance with the Code of Conduct on Multilingualism between 2008 and 2009 (its first year of implementation), the compliance rate has decreased between 2009 and 2010(16) ; calls on the committees, delegations and political groups to strictly observe the deadlines set in the Code of Conduct;

89.  Welcomes the new service of Interpretation ad personam (IAP) offered by DG INTE to Members and established following the pilot project started in 2010;

DG Finance (DG FINS)

90.  Notes with satisfaction that there has been a reduction in the payment time for invoices to an average of 21 days in 2010;

Transport costs

91.  Notes that, in 2010, the cost of travel of Members and staff amounted to some EUR 107 000 000(17) (or 6,6 % of all total final appropriations) and that a 5 % reduction is now in force; considers that the potential for further reductions through pooled airmiles should be considered; requests that an analysis of Article 3 0 0 be provided by way of a note to the accounts of the average cost of travel per official for the six routes: Brussels-Luxembourg; Luxembourg-Brussels; Luxembourg-Strasbourg; Strasbourg-Luxembourg; Brussels-Strasbourg; Strasbourg-Brussels;

Travel Agency

92.  Notes that final appropriations for the Travel Agency amounted to EUR 1 438 000 in 2010, with a high commitment rate (94 %); further notes that it obtains negotiated prices from airlines, which means that there is an average price for the best service; stresses however that this does not mean that, for a specific day or journey, it is not possible to get better prices by booking directly with travel operators; calls for an independent inquiry to produce a performance evaluation of the Travel Agency, its structure and its operation; calls on the existing travel agent contractor to make better efforts to ensure that the cheapest options are always proposed to Members and staff; further calls on the appropriate directorate to monitor service levels provided by the Travel Agency;

93.  Regrets that, in some cases, the Travel Agency does not offer the best price, compared to other travel agencies, both physical and online; requests to DG Finance to develop an adequate control mechanism which ensures the best ratio quality/price;

94.  Takes the view that comparable flight price data need to be obtained in order to determine the best price for any given flight;

95.  Believes that Parliament should cease awarding monopolistic contracts wherever possible and that reduced costs and a better service for Members and staff would result from having more than one travel agency at their disposal;

Mopping-up transfers

96.  Welcomes the fact that, at the end of the 2010 financial year, the mopping up procedure was not used as has been requested by its Committee on Budgetary Control in recent years, thereby preventing there being a significant difference between the budget as planned for the year and its implementation, as happened in previous years and believes that all Union institutions could make scrutiny and budget discharge for future years easier if they planned buildings expenditure in a transparent way via the budget procedure:

Pension Funds

97.  Notes that, although in 2010 the value of the assets of the Voluntary Pension Fund increased by 13,3 % as the investment markets continued to recover from the global financial crisis of 2008, the voluntary pension fund had a deficit as at 31 December 2010 of EUR 178 960 000, which raises concerns about the possible default of the fund; reminds that Parliament is guaranteeing the payment of pension rights for all former and some current Members of this voluntary pension fund, when and if this fund is not able to meet its obligations; would like to be informed how and from which budget line Parliament will meet its obligations in such an eventuality;  

98.  Recognises that two-thirds of payments into the fund were made directly by Parliament rather than by individual members; reminds members of the fund that their contributions were voluntary, and insists that Parliament should make no further financial contribution towards meeting payments or reducing the deficit of a fund that may not have been structured satisfactorily from the outset;

99.  Notes, furthermore, that obligations arising from PEAM Rules (Payment of Expenses and Allowances to Members) relating to pensions for survivors and invalidity pensions (Annex II) amount to EUR 28 950 000; points out that there are sums used to cover cases – mainly involving Italian and French Members – where national and European Parliament pension provisions differed (Annex III) of EUR 195 640 000, and sums from the newly established Statute scheme of EUR 152 210 000 (the latter figure will rise year on year); draws attention to the fact that there are no funds to cover this expenditure;

DG Innovation and Technological Support (DG ITEC)

100.  Notes the Bureau decisions of 17 June 2009 and of 18 October 2010 to extend the areas with wireless network access (Wi-Fi) in Parliament covering the Chamber, committee rooms, Members' offices and public spaces both in Brussels and Strasbourg (1st phase of the project: EUR 7 878 000); asks DG ITEC to make it possible for individual Members to request not to receive paper documents in future for committee meetings where eCommittee is used; believes that this could speed up the success of the project;

101.  Welcomes the ongoing graphical redesign of the EP website following the Bureau decision on 22 November 2010 on the ‘Strategy for the future presence of the European Parliament online - Recasting the EP website’; calls for improvement in the support of the website, in particular by performing regular tests;

102.  Welcomes the AT4AM system, introduced in 2010, that makes it easier for Members to amend proposed legislative and non-legislative texts;

103.  Notes with satisfaction the improvements in the IT sector from 2010 onwards resulting in: greater capacity to manage key aspects ‘in house’, the process of internalisation of activities, the establishment of key corporate governance organs (Committee on ICT Innovation Strategy and Steering Committee for ICT Innovation), the setting-up of the IT planning function and of the reporting system on the status of IT development projects and the development of a transparent short-term planning methodology; welcomes the extensive use of performance indicators by this DG; expresses its disquiet at the growing risk of illicit access to, and manipulation of, Parliament's ICT systems and considers that, as a matter of the utmost urgency, an effective long-term strategy must be devised to protect them; asks the Secretary-General to keep it informed of the measures taken to that end;

104.   expects a full report on how Parliament's Free Software projects have developed with regards to use and users in Parliament, citizen interaction and procurement activities; suggests an investigation of Parliament's obligations under Rule 103 with regard to Free Software and Open Standards;

Public procurement in DG ITEC

105.  Encourages DG ITEC to strive to better prepare procurement procedures, in particular in the case of framework contracts, which are often complex, by stipulating contracting obligations on deliverables and results rather than simple output and by better defining Parliament's needs and objectives; suggests that, rather than using penalty clauses, Parliament should seek compensation from a supplier or service provider who fails to deliver or use the threat of the loss of future work, in the case of framework contracts;

New voting equipment and interpretation facilities

106.  Notes that new voting equipment in the Hemicycles cost EUR 2 135 623 and was fully financed from the 2010 appropriation; further notes that the cost of maintenance and of technical assistance for the voting equipment was EUR 147 149 in 2010;

Political Groups (budget item 4 0 0 0)

107.  Notes that, in 2010, the appropriations entered under budget item 4 0 0 0 were used as follows:

Group

2010

2009**

Annual appropriations*

Own resources and carried-over appropriations

Expenditure

Rate of use of annual appropriations

Amounts carried over to next period

Annual appropriations

Own resources and carried-over appropriations

Expenditure

Rate of use of annual appropriations

Amounts carried over to next period (2010)

EPP (formerly EPP-ED)

19 990

2 392

20 662

103,36 %

1 720

19 715

7 782

25 314

128,40 %

2 182

S&D (formerly PSE)

14 011

4 629

13 359

95,35 %

5 281

14 235

6 999

16 750

117,67 %

4 483

ALDE

6 262

2 240

6 160

98,37 %

2 342

6 441

3 065

7 328

113,77 %

2 178

Greens/EFA

3 896

1 188

3 893

99,92 %

1 191

3 360

1 055

3 235

96,28 %

1 179

GUE/NGL

2 531

1 065

2 525

99,76 %

1 071

2 673

1 487

3 102

116,05 %

1 057

UEN

-

 

 

 

 

1 417

1 452

2 552

180,10 %

0

IND/DEM

-

 

 

 

 

775

1.023

1.048

135,23 %

0

ECR

3 648

398

3 362

92,16 %

684

1 788

3

1 415

79,14 %

376

EFD

2 201

419

1 799

81,74 %

821

1 113

1

701

62,98 %

413

Non-attached Members

1 234

248

828

67,10 %

409

1 169

348

925

79,13 %

248

Total

53 773

12 579

52 588

97,80 %

13 519

52 686

23 215

62 370

118,38 %

12 116

* all amounts in thousand EUR

** year 2009 consisted of two financial years due to parliamentary elections in June 2009. The figures for 2009 in the table represent the sum of the 2009_1 and 2009_2 amounts.

After the European elections in 2009 the UEN and IND/DEM groups ceased to exist and two new groups ECR and EFD were created.


   108. Welcomes the commitment of the administration of Parliament cited in the Court of Auditors Report to move to using the full calendar year to calculate carry-overs by political groups at the end of election years, rather than two separate half years; welcomes the apparent improvement in financial forecasting indicated by the fact that no unused appropriations were returned by political groups for 2010;

European Political Parties and European Political Foundations

109.  Notes that in 2010 the appropriations entered under budget items 4 0 2 0 and 4 0 3 0 were used as follows(18) :

Party

Abbreviation

Own resources*

EP grant

Total revenue

EP grant as % of eligible expenditure (max. 85 %)

Revenue surplus (transfer to reserves) or loss

European People's Party

EPP

1 413

4 959

6 372

85 %

429

Party of European Socialists

PES

914

3 395

4 310

80 %

2

European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party

ELDR

379

1 554

1 933

85 %

77

European Green Party

EGP

365

1 055

1 420

85 %

170

Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists

AECR

58

327

386

85 %

0

Party of the European Left

EL

200

708

908

71 %

-90

European Democratic Party

EDP/PDE

95

424

519

85 %

12

European Free Alliance

EFA

77

339

416

85 %

17

EUDemocrats

EUD

35

176

211

85 %

-17

European Christian Political Movement

ECPM

55

208

264

85 %

3

Total

 

3 591

13 145

16 739

83 %

603

(*) all amounts in thousand EUR

Foundation

Abbreviation

Affiliated to party

Own resources*

EP grant

Total revenue

EP grant as % of eligible expenditure (max. 85 %)

Centre for European Studies

CES

EPP

615

2 928

3 543

83 %

Foundation for European Progressive Studies

FEPS

PES

366

2 136

2 502

85 %

European Liberal Forum

ELF

ELDR

117

658

775

85 %

Green European Foundation

GEF

EGP

119

674

794

85 %

Transform Europe

TE

EL

87

475

562

85 %

Institute of European Democrats

IED

PDE

36

197

233

85 %

Foundation for EU Democracy

FEUD

EUD

20

122

142

85 %

Centre Maurits Coppieters

CMC

EFA

27

156

183

85 %

New Direction

ND

AECR

92

404

496

84 %

Total

 

 

1 479

7 750

9 230

84 %

(*) all amounts in thousand EUR

110.  Notes changes since 2010 including management visits where sample checking takes place on budget, recruitment, tendering and other systems;

Environment-friendly Parliament

111.  Notes the CO2 action plan adopted by the Bureau in 2010; welcomes the significant reduction in energy consumption at the Strasbourg seat of Parliament, which fell by 74 % between 2006 and 2010; regrets, however, that the carbon footprint of the Strasbourg site, representing energy consumed for the year 2010, was 1 533 tonnes of CO2 ;

112.  Takes the view that the possibility should be considered of making both environmental improvements and savings in Parliament's budget by means of different working methods which are greener and cheaper but do not detract from Parliament's work, including the use of teleconferences;

113.  Welcomes the introduction in December 2010 of a ‘third-party payment system’ for NMBS/SNCB(19) season tickets in Brussels, under which Parliament contributes 50 % of the cost of individual annual season tickets taken out by its staff members; encourages its administration to make the necessary arrangements in order also to reimburse staff who need to combine rail and urban transport; takes the view that this could further promote the use of public transport and reduce Parliament's carbon footprint;

114.  Welcomes the pilot projects in the area of logistics which ran in 2010 (e.g. purchasing low-emissions vehicles - EURO 5 standard, holding training in environmentally responsible driving for drivers and removal staff, trunk sharing for the transport of working documents, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by around 33 % in that area) as part of EMAS Action Plan;

115.  Welcomes the adoption by the Bureau on 10 November 2010 of the proposal from the Working Group on Buildings, Transport and Green Parliament revising the rules governing the use of official cars by Members that has allowed Parliament to modernise its fleet with less polluting cars and to organise grouped transport with VIP minibuses to airports in Brussels and Strasbourg;

Separate plenary debate on Parliament's discharge

116.  Calls on the Conference of Presidents to schedule a debate on Parliament's discharge at a different time than the debate on the other discharge reports in order to give Members the opportunity to give it the exclusive attention the discharge of their own institution deserves;

117.  Suggests to the Bureau that it should put on its agenda a discussion on the discharge resolution following its adoption by plenary.

(1) OJ L 64, 12.3.2010.
(2) OJ C 332, 14.11.2011, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 167, 7.6.2011, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 326, 10.11.2011, p. 1.
(5) OJ C 332, 14.11.2011, p. 134.
(6) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(7) PE 349.540/Bur/ann/def.
(8) OJ C 87 E, 1.4.2010, p. 327.
(9) OJ C 212 E, 5.8.2010, p. 244.
(10) Automatic carry-overs: EUR 180 265 823, non-automatic carry-overs: EUR 10 100 000.
(11) Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201109/20110913ATT26546/20110913ATT26546EN.pdf
(12) OJ L 252, 25.9.2010, p. 3.
(13) Annual report on the contracts awarded by the European Parliament, 2010, paragraphs 38 and 39..
(14) Between 11 000 and 66 000 (with an average of less than 30 000) visits monthly in 2010
(15) Proportion in staff / proportion in demographic weight: Germany: 6,4% / 16,3%, the UK: 4,4% / 12,4%, Austria: 1% / 1,67%, the Netherlands: 2,7% / 3,3 %,Sources: EP Social Report 2010, December 2011 and Eurostat.
(16) DG TRAD Annual Activity Report, page 8.
(17) The sum of final appropriations for items 1 0 0 4 (Ordinary travel expenses) and 1 0 0 5 (Other travel expenses) and for article 3 0 0 (Expenses on staff missions and duty travel between the three working places): EUR 106 718 500.
(18) Source: Bureau minutes 12 September 2011, point 12 (SG note D(2011)32179, PE469.487/BUR).
(19) National Railway Company of Belgium.

Last updated: 12 November 2013Legal notice