Procedure : 2013/2228(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0209/2014

Texts tabled :

A7-0209/2014

Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 03/04/2014 - 7.44

Texts adopted :


REPORT     
PDF 181kWORD 89k
20 March 2014
PE 521.676v02-00 A7-0209/2014

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012

(C7-0316/2013 – 2013/2228(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 Railway Agency for the financial year 2012

(C7-0316/2013 – 2013/2228(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’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 (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 establishing a European Railway Agency(4), and in particular Article 39 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 Transport and Tourism (A7-0209/2014),

1.  Grants the Executive Director of the European Railway Agency discharge in respect of the implementation of the Agency'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 Executive Director of the European Railway Agency, 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 Railway Agency for the financial year 2012

(C7-0316/2013 – 2013/2228(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’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 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 (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 establishing a European Railway Agency(10), and in particular Article 39 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 Transport and Tourism (A7-0209/2014),

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this Decision to the Executive Director of the European Railway Agency, 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 Railway Agency for the financial year 2012

(C7-0316/2013 – 2013/2228(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’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) ("the Financial Regulation"), 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 (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 establishing a European Railway Agency(16), and in particular Article 39 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 Transport and Tourism (A7-0209/2014),

A. whereas according to its financial statements, the budget of the European Railway Agency (“the Agency”) for the financial year 2012 was EUR 25 799 000, representing a decrease of 0,72 % compared to 2011,

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

1. Highlights the Agency’s vital role in ensuring the safety and interoperability of rail systems in Europe; notes furthermore that a review of the Agency’s powers is currently under way as part of the Fourth Railway Package; stresses that should it be accorded greater powers, the Agency will need to be given the financial, material and human resources it needs to perform its tasks successfully;

Follow-up of the 2011 discharge

2.  Notes from the Court of Auditors’ report that corrective actions taken in response to previous year's comments are ongoing;

3.  Acknowledges from the Agency that:

- corrective measures were implemented in order to reduce the negative impact on the Agency's activities as regards the significant turnover of operational staff; calls on the Agency, however, to inform the discharge authority of the impact of the measures taken,

- actions were taken to address deficiencies related to the appropriations carried forward, namely the implementation of stricter rules as regards the deadline for signing contracts, the revision of IT specific contracts allowing invoicing in line with the deliverables and the introduction of a new invoicing system by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union allowing for the reduction of carry-overs in the area of translation,

- in order to improve the recruitment procedures, to ensure transparency and equal treatment of candidates and to avoid conflicts of interest in the selection procedures, a new procedure for the selection and recruitment of staff and new guidelines for section committees were adopted;

Budget and financial management

4.  Notes that budget monitoring efforts during the financial year 2012 resulted in a budget implementation rate of 94,92 % and that the payment appropriations execution rate was 85,63 % ;

Two locations

5.  Deplores the fact that using two locations (Lille and Valenciennes) to carry out its activities exposes the Agency to additional costs; acknowledges the efforts made by the Agency to minimise the negative impact of the decision on its seat;

6.  Calls for a single location for the Agency, in a place easily accessible by public transport in order to save scare resources and increase its efficiency;

Commitments and carryovers

7.  Acknowledges that the Court of Auditors’ annual audit has found no notable issues as regards the level of carry-overs in 2012 and commends the Agency for adhering to the principle of annuality and for the timely execution of its budget;

Transfers

8.  Notes with satisfaction 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; commends the Agency for its good budgetary planning;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

9.  Acknowledges that the Agency will review its policy on the prevention and management of conflicts of interests in 2014 on the basis of Commission's Guidelines on the Prevention and Management of Conflicts of Interests in EU Decentralised Agencies; calls on the Agency to inform the discharge authority on the assessment results once available;

10. Observes that the CVs and declarations of interests of the members of the Management Board are not publicly available; calls on the Agency to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency;

Procurement and recruitment procedures

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

12. Notes that the Court of Auditors made no comments in its annual audit report for 2012 as regards the Agency’s recruitment procedures;

Internal audit

13. Acknowledges from the Agency that in 2012 the Commission’s Internal Audit Service (IAS) carried out an audit ("Building Blocks of Assurance") during the last quarter of 2012 which resulted in 10 recommendations for the Agency, two of which were rated as "very important", seven as "important" and one as "desirable"; notes that due to the late timing of the 2012 IAS audit, it was not possible for the Agency to provide detailed information on the actions planned in order to close the IAS recommendations; calls on the Agency to inform the discharge authority of those actions;

14. Notes that there are no outstanding recommendations marked as "very important" from the 2011 IAS audit on "Expert management in Interoperability" and that there are two outstanding recommendations marked as "important" which were open at the end of 2013; calls on the Agency to inform the discharge authority of the actions taken;

15. Notes that the Court of Auditors indicates in its annual audit report for 2012 that the Agency has suppressed the Internal Audit Capability and has replaced it with an Internal Control Coordinator (ICC) post;

16. Regrets that the recruitment procedure for the ICC post was lengthy and that as of January 2014, the selected candidate had not yet started working at the Agency;

17. Notes with concern that the Court of Auditors indicates in its annual audit report for 2012 that the Agency does not comply with its Internal Control Standard regarding business continuity and that no approved IT Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans exist; acknowledges that the Agency has decided to implement adequate measures in order to ensure the continuity of the IT services and systems that are horizontal to the Agency's business; calls on the Agency to inform the discharge authority on actions implemented;

Performance

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

o

o   o

19. 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.

20.2.2014

OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism

for the Committee on Budgetary Control

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Railway Agency for the financial year 2012

(2013/2228(DEC))

Rapporteur: Michel Dantin

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on Budgetary Control, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the finding of the Court of Auditors that the accounts of the European Railway Agency for the 2012 financial year are in order;

2.  Notes that the Agency’s annual budget for 2012 was EUR 25.8 million in commitment and payment appropriations, and that the implementation rates were 94.9%;

3.  Highlights the Agency’s vital role in ensuring the safety and interoperability of rail systems in Europe; also notes that a review of the Agency’s powers is currently under way as part of the Fourth Railway Package; stresses that, should it be accorded greater powers, the Agency will need to be given the financial, material and human resources it needs to perform its tasks successfully;

3a. Calls for a single seat. The Agency shall be based at a single location being easily accessible by public transport in order to save scarce resources and increase the efficiency of the Agency.

4.  Notes that the Court of Auditors highlighted some uncertainties on how the internal auditing function would be carried out, following a change to the Agency’s auditing structures; notes the response from the Agency, which expects to appoint its Internal Control Coordinator at an early date;

5.  Notes that the Court of Auditors has highlighted the Agency’s failure to comply with its Internal Control Standard regarding continuity of ITC activities; calls on the Agency to take the appropriate corrective measures;

5a. Stresses the importance of the Agency improving its recruitment procedures as rapidly as possible, this measure having been commenced in 2011, so as to ensure transparency and equal treatment for applicants.

6.  Proposes that Parliament grant the Executive Director of the European Railway Agency discharge in respect of the implementation of the Agency's budget for the financial year 2012.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

20.2.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

28

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Michael Cramer, Joseph Cuschieri, Philippe De Backer, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Saïd El Khadraoui, Ismail Ertug, Jacqueline Foster, Franco Frigo, Mathieu Grosch, Jim Higgins, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Georgios Koumoutsakos, Eva Lichtenberger, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Gesine Meissner, Dominique Riquet, Brian Simpson, Giommaria Uggias, Peter van Dalen, Patricia van der Kammen, Artur Zasada

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Spyros Danellis, Isabelle Durant, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Alfreds Rubiks, Bernadette Vergnaud, Janusz Władysław Zemke

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

Birgit Sippel, Robert Sturdy

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

17.3.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

16

2

2

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, Philip Bradbourn, Markus Pieper

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

Thomas Ulmer

(1)

     OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 184.

(2)

     OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(3)

     OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(4)

OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, 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. 184.

(8)

     OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(9)

     OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(10)

OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, 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. 184.

(14)

   OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(15)

   OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(16)

OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, 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).

Last updated: 21 March 2014Legal notice