Procedure : 2013/2208(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0207/2014

Texts tabled :

A7-0207/2014

Debates :

PV 02/04/2014 - 24
CRE 02/04/2014 - 24

Votes :

PV 03/04/2014 - 7.27

Texts adopted :


REPORT     
PDF 186kWORD 89k
20 March 2014
PE 521.646v02-00 A7-0207/2014

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012

(C7-0286/2013 – 2013/2208(DEC))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012

(C7-0286/2013 – 2013/2208(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012, together with the Centre's replies(1),

–   having regard to the Council's recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 - C7-0054/2014),

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

–   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(2), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

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

–   having regard to Regulation (EEC) No 337/75 of the Council of 10 February 1975 establishing a European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training(4), and in particular Article 12a thereof,

–   having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5),

–   having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

–   having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A7-0207/2014),

1.  Grants the Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training discharge in respect of the implementation of the Centre's budget for the financial year 2012;

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 of it to the Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

2. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the closure of the accounts of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012

(C7-0286/2013 – 2013/2208(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012, together with the Centre's replies(7),

–   having regard to the Council's recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 - C7-0054/2014),

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

–   having regard to the Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(8), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(9), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EEC) No 337/75 of the Council of 10 February 1975 establishing a European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training(10), and in particular Article 12a thereof,

–   having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(11),

–   having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(12), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

–   having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A7-0207/2014),

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012;

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

3. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012

(C7-0286/2013 – 2013/2208(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012, together with the Centre's replies(13),

–   having regard to the Council's recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 - C7-0054/2014),

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

–   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(14), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(15), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EEC) No 337/75 of the Council of 10 February 1975 establishing a European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training(16), and in particular Article 12a thereof,

–   having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(17),

–   having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(18), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

–   having regard to its previous discharge decisions and resolutions,

–   having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A7-0207/2014),

A. whereas, according to its financial statements, the final budget of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training ("the Centre") for the financial year 2012 was EUR 19 216 951, representing an increase of 1,83 % compared to 2011,

B. whereas, according to its financial statements, the overall contribution of the Union to the Centre's budget for 2012 amounted to EUR 16 933 900, representing a decrease of 0,31 % compared to 2011,

C. whereas the Court of Auditors has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Centre’s annual accounts for the financial year 2012 are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

1.  Acknowledges the essential role of the Centre in the promotion of vocational education and training (VET) in the Union at a time when new methods of training are needed; stresses the relevance of its contribution to policies aimed at exploring VET’s potential to support economic development and facilitate the transition from learning to employment, particularly in the context of economic recession; notes that the presence of various stakeholders shows an increased demand for the Centre’s expertise and analytical capacity;

Follow-up of 2011 discharge

2.  Notes from the Court of Auditors’ report that the status of one corrective action taken in response to its previous year's comments is marked as 'ongoing', one is marked as 'completed' and one is marked as 'partially completed' and 'partially ongoing';

3.  Notes from the Centre’s annual activity report that the its work programme was implemented as planned; welcomes the Centre’s achievements in the fields set out in the medium-term priorities (2012-2014) as indicated by the Centre’s performance measurement system linked to the work programme;

4.  Acknowledges from the Centre that:

     - a comprehensive procurement planning and budgetary monitoring was developed which helped reduce the number of transfers in 2012 by more than 25 % and that a methodology was developed, including parameters, projections and steps for improving its forecasting of Title I related expenditure,

     - structural measures were implemented in order to address the deficiencies related to the financing of grants for vocational education and training, namely an adapted schedule for deliverables by the network and final implementation reports throughout the first semester; the preparation of the operational verification using check lists focusing on exchange rates, consistency between audit certificates and reports and identifying mistakes in calculations; the provision of refined guidelines to the network members regarding the preparation of final implementation reports in order to avoid frequent or long suspensions of invoices and the application of a monthly monitoring mechanism of the delivery of final implementation reports,

     - in order to implement the Commission’s Internal Audit Service (IAS) recommendations from 2010, a comprehensive business continuity plan was finalised and approved which assesses the risk of potential disruptions, defines the critical functions and response times needed and includes an action plan for its implementation;

Budget and financial management

5.  Notes that budget monitoring efforts during the financial year 2012 resulted in a budget implementation rate of 99,68 % and that the payment appropriations execution rate was 94,44 %;

Commitments and carry-overs

6.  Notes that carry-overs of committed appropriations were high for Title II at 39 %; acknowledges that according to the Court's annual report, this was mainly due to reasons beyond the Centre’s control;

Transfers

7.  Notes that according to the annual activity report, as well as the Court of Auditors’ audit findings, the level and nature of transfers in 2012 have remained within the limits of the financial rules, and commends the Centre for its good budgetary planning;

Procurement and recruitment procedures

8.  Notes that for the year 2012, neither sampled transactions nor other audit findings have led to any comments on the Centre’s procurement procedures in the Court of Auditors’ annual audit report;

9.  Notes with concern that according to the Court of Auditors' findings, members of the pre-selection committee did not sign a declaration as regards the absence of conflicts of interest for the two recruitment procedures for the post of the Centre’s Director, which had been launched in 2010 and 2011 and had been declared unsuccessful; expresses concern that questions for interviews and their weightings, as well as the threshold scores for inclusion in the list of suitable candidates, were set after the screening of candidates;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

10. Acknowledges that the Centre will assess its policy on the prevention and management of conflicts of interests on the basis of the Commission's Guidelines on the Prevention and Management of Conflicts of Interest in EU Decentralised Agencies; calls on the Centre to inform the discharge authority of the assessment results once available;

11. Observes that the CVs and declarations of interests of the Governing Board members, as well as the declarations of interests of the Executive Director and senior management, are not publicly available; calls on the Centre to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency;

Comments on internal controls

12. Regrets that according to the Court of Auditors' annual report, the staff costs claimed by beneficiaries are not usually being verified on the basis of original supporting documentation, even though the Centre’s ex ante verifications of grants (awarded on an annual basis to a network of national partners) consist of a comprehensive desk-analysis of cost claims submitted by grant beneficiaries, as well as a review of certificates obtained from external auditors which were contracted by the beneficiaries or of certificates from independent public officers; regrets the fact that related ex post verifications were last carried out in 2009 and stresses the need to carry out ex post verifications in order to enhance the procedure; notes with concern that according to the Court of Auditors' findings, ex ante verifications provide only limited assurances and suggests that ex ante verification procedures should be strengthened; calls on the Centre to address this issue and to report to the discharge authority on the steps taken within the framework of the 2012 discharge follow-up;

Internal audit

13. Acknowledges from the Centre that the IAS carried out a risk assessment exercise for 2012 and identified five risk issues as critical; notes that those five issues were included in the Centre's annual risk management plan for 2012 as a part of Centre's work programme for 2012); acknowledges that the actions taken on three of those issues are completed, and the actions on the remaining two critical risks are on-going;

Performance

14. Requests that the Centre communicate the results and impact its work has on European citizens in an accessible way, mainly through its website;

o

o         o

15. Refers, in respect of the other observations accompanying its Decision on discharge, which are of a horizontal nature, to its resolution of … 2014(19) on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.

14.2.2014

OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

for the Committee on Budgetary Control

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training for the financial year 2012

(2013/2208(DEC))

Rapporteur: Pervenche Berès

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Acknowledges the essential role of the Centre in the promotion of vocational education and training (VET) in the European Union at a time when new methods of training are needed, in the contribution to policies which aim to use VET’s potential to support economic development and facilitate transition from learning to employment, particularly in the context of the economic recession; welcomes that the different stakeholders show an increased demand for the Centre’s expertise and analytical capacity;

2.  Notes from the Centre’s Annual Report that the work programme of the Centre was implemented as planned; welcomes the Centre’s achievements in the fields set out in the medium-term priorities (2012-2014) as indicated by the Centre’s performance measurement system (PMS) linked to the work programme;

3.  Expresses its satisfaction that the Court of Auditors has declared the transactions underlying the Centre’s annual accounts for the financial year 2012 to be legal and regular and that its financial position as of 31 December 2012 is clearly represented;

4.  Welcomes the fact that the third selection procedure launched in 2012 was successful and the post of the Director of the Centre was finally filled in October 2013 after two years of vacancy;

5.  Notes the high budget implementation rates for all titles and that the number of budget transfers was reduced by more than 25% from previous year (down to 55 transfers in 2012 from 77 in 2011); notes furthermore that the high carry-over of committed appropriations mainly resulted from reasons beyond the Centre’s control, such as the delays in the repair works carried out by Greek authorities on the Centre’s premises, which were not completed in 2012. Asks the Centre to continue its progress to reduce carry overs of title 2 commitments and reduce the number of transfers;

6.  Notes the comments of the Court of Auditors concerning the verifications of grants awarded by the Centre; calls for more detailed checks of staff costs claimed by beneficiaries.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

13.2.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Heinz K. Becker, Phil Bennion, Pervenche Berès, Philippe Boulland, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Derek Roland Clark, Minodora Cliveti, Frédéric Daerden, Karima Delli, Sari Essayah, Richard Falbr, Nadja Hirsch, Stephen Hughes, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Jean Lambert, Patrick Le Hyaric, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Thomas Mann, Csaba Őry, Konstantinos Poupakis, Elisabeth Schroedter, Gabriele Stauner, Jutta Steinruck

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Georges Bach, Philippe De Backer, Edite Estrela, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Anthea McIntyre, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Gabriele Zimmer

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

Enrique Guerrero Salom, Timothy Kirkhope, George Lyon

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

17.3.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

16

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Jean-Pierre Audy, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Martin Ehrenhauser, Jens Geier, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Ingeborg Gräßle, Rina Ronja Kari, Monica Luisa Macovei, Jan Mulder, Eva Ortiz Vilella, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Bart Staes, Georgios Stavrakakis, Derek Vaughan

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Amelia Andersdotter, Markus Pieper

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

Thomas Ulmer

(1)

     OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 21.

(2)

     OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(3)

     OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(4)

     OJ L 39, 13.2.1975, p. 1.

(5)

     OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(6)

     OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

(7)

     OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 21.

(8)

     OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(9)

     OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(10)

   OJ L 39, 13.2.1975, p. 1.

(11)

   OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(12)

   OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

(13)

   OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 21.

(14)

   OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(15)

   OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(16)

   OJ L 39, 13.2.1975, p. 1.

(17)

   OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(18)

   OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

(19)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA-PROV(2014)…

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