Procedure : 2009/2123(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0086/2010

Texts tabled :

A7-0086/2010

Debates :

PV 21/04/2010 - 3
CRE 21/04/2010 - 3

Votes :

Explanations of votes
PV 05/05/2010 - 13.16
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2010)0106

REPORT     
PDF 170kWORD 102k
26.3.2010
PE 430.466v03-00 A7-0086/2010

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008

(C7‑0194/2009 – 2009/2123(DEC))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Véronique Mathieu

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 Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008

(C7‑0194/2009 – 2009/2123(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008, together with the Authority’s replies(1),

–   having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 16 February 2010 (5827/2010 – C7‑0061/2010),

–   having regard to Article 276 of the EC Treaty and 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 (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 establishing a European Food Safety Authority(3), and in particular Article 44 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 Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(4), and in particular Article 94 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 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A7-0086/2010),

1.  Grants the Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority discharge in respect of the implementation of the Authority's budget for the financial year 2008;

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 Food Safety Authority, 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 Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008

(C7‑0194/2009 – 2009/2123(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008, together with the Authority’s replies(5),

–   having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 16 February 2010 (5827/2010 – C7‑0061/2010),

–   having regard to Article 276 of the EC Treaty and 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(6), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 establishing a European Food Safety Authority(7), and in particular Article 44 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 Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(8), and in particular Article 94 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 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A7-0086/2010),

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Food and Safety Authority for the financial year 2008;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this Decision to the Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority, 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 the discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008

(C7‑0194/2009 – 2009/2123(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008,

–   having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008, together with the Authority’s replies(9),

–   having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 16 February 2010 (5827/2010 – C7‑0061/2010),

–   having regard to Article 276 of the EC Treaty and 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(10), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 establishing a European Food Safety Authority(11), and in particular Article 44 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 Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(12), and in particular Article 94 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 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A7-0086/2010),

A. whereas the Court of Auditors has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurance that the annual accounts for the financial year 2008 are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

B.  whereas on 23 April 2009 Parliament granted the Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority discharge in respect of the implementation of the Authority's budget for the financial year 2007(13), and in its resolution accompanying the discharge decision noted inter alia that:

- in 2007 appropriations totalling EUR 8 600 000 (17% of the 2007 budget) were carried over and appropriations totalling EUR 4 800 000 were cancelled,

- the underspending in 2007 was partly due to the delayed adoption and implementation of the 2007 annual work plan for grants and to the carryover of EUR 7 900 000 in appropriations from the 2006 financial year, EUR 4 500 000 of which was for operational activities,

Performance and budgetary and financial management

1.  Underlines the Authority's role in providing independent scientific advice on all matters having a direct or indirect impact on food safety, including animal health and welfare and plant protection, and the need to properly communicate scientific advice;

2.  Notes that during 2008, its sixth year in operation, the Authority steadily improved its performance; notes that this improvement is clearly reflected in the performance indicators, with a 57% increase in the number of scientific opinions and statements over 2007, together with better risk assessment methodologies and scientific network coordination (e.g. guidance documents and data collection reports), better communication of scientific advice and better dialogue with stakeholders (e.g. broader coverage in media articles and broadcasts, more press releases and a 21% increase in the number of subscribers to the 'EFSA Highlights' bulletin over 2007); notes that this performance improvement is offset by a 27% increase in staffing compared with 2007;

3.  Notes that in 2008 the Authority reached a high level of budget execution for both commitment and payment credits: 97 % and 95 % respectively; underlines that compared to the previous year the budget increased by EUR 9 million;

4.  Notes, nonetheless, that for the third successive year the Court of Auditors has flagged up carryovers of appropriations to the following year (23% of the 2008 budget was carried over to 2009; 16% of the 2007 budget was carried over to 2008; 20% of the 2006 budget was carried over to 2007); notes that, in 2008, this situation was brought about by the late adoption and implementation of measures relating to software development, scientific cooperation with external experts, and grants for studies and data-collection projects; encourages the Authority to improve its budget management in order to reduce such high carry-over amounts;

5.  Notes also that, for the second successive year, the Court of Auditors points out that commitments for operational activities carried over from the previous year had to be cancelled (37% of commitments for operational activities carried over from 2007 and 26% of commitments for operational activities carried over from 2006); notes that, in 2008, this situation was attributable mainly to considerable delays in the implementation of 2007 grants agreements during the year;

6.  Is consequently concerned that this situation is at odds with the principle of annuality and shows weaknesses in programming, monitoring contractual deadlines, and the Authority's budget;

7.  Commends the Authority for having set out in its 2008 work programme priority objectives and performance indicators for each of the main activities planned; urges the Authority, nonetheless, to do better in establishing SMART objectives and RACER indicators in order to promote the achievement of results and enable performance to be monitored in an effective manner; considers the Authority's introduction of a risk assessment process to be a positive development which, starting in 2009, should reinforce and allow close monitoring of the Authority's scientific and administrative activities;

8.  Stresses that, in future, the Authority needs to accord greater importance in its grant agreement procedures to assessing the complexity of the service involved, with a view to setting better deadlines for the submission of tenders; notes, furthermore, that the Authority should take greater care in ensuring that contractual deadlines laid down in grant agreements are met;

9.  Views the Authority's introduction of differentiated appropriations for grants in its 2009 budget as a positive development, with a view to avoiding cancellations in subsequent financial years;

10. Notes that the Authority’s accounts for the financial year 2008 show income from interest in the amount of EUR 485 651.33; concludes from the annual closure of accounts and the amount of interest payments that the Authority maintains enormously high cash reserves over long periods; notes that as of 31 December 2008 the Authority’s cash reserves amounted to EUR 19 990 492.26; calls on the Commission to examine ways of ensuring that the principle of needs-based cash management, as laid down in Article 15(5) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002, is implemented to the full and what changes in approach are needed to ensure that the Authority’s cash reserves are kept as low as possible on a long-term basis;

Internal audit

11. Considers that the audit committee (AC), created by the Authority in 2006, plays an important role in assisting the Management Board by ensuring that the work of the Internal Audit Services (IAS) of the Commission and of the internal audit capabilities (IAC) of the Authority is properly carried out and duly taken into consideration by the Management Board and the Executive Director; believes, therefore, that this AC within the Authority might serve as an example to other agencies;

12. Notes that 20 out of the 25 recommendations (80%) made by the IAS and the IAC have been implemented; nevertheless, invites the Authority to provide the Parliament with further information on their level of importance and the actions taken to implement them;

Human resources

13. Notes that the Authority succeeded in filling 318 (representing recruitment of 45 temporary staff compared to 2007); of the 335 posts provided for in its establishment plan after having had difficulties in recruiting highly skilled scientific staff in Parma; notes that an additional 40 support staff (auxiliary, contractual, second national experts) have been recruited to support the Authority in its tasks;

14. Welcomes the fact that the current Court of Auditors report does not point to any shortcomings in recruitment procedures;

15. Urges the Authority to ensure that all former officials, in accordance with Article 16 of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities, inform the Authority when they take up new positions outside the institutions; if such activities could lead to a conflict with the legitimate interests of the institutions, the Authority should take the appropriate measures.

16. Takes note of the second staff survey launched in October 2008 with a view to assessing the Authority’s working environment; is satisfied that the level of participation increased from 44 % in 2007 to 55 % in 2008; encourages the staff committee to conduct such a survey on a regular basis and to increase the level of participation, and expects the Authority’s management to incorporate the results drawn from the survey into its staff management and daily work;

Role of coordinator of the network of agencies

17. Commends the Executive Director of the Authority on his extremely effective work as coordinator of the network of agencies between 1 March and 31 December 2009;

oo   o

18. Refers, for other observations accompanying its Decision on discharge, which are of a horizontal nature, to its resolution of xxx(14) on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.

23.2.2010

OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

for the Committee on Budgetary Control

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2008

(C7-0194/2009 – 2009/2123(DEC))

Rapporteur: Jutta Haug

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Budgetary Control, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Notes that in 2008 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reached a high level of budget execution for both commitment and payment credits: 97 % and 95 % respectively; underlines that compared to the previous year the budget increased by EUR 9 million;

2.   Regrets, however, that an amount of EUR 15,5 million in commitment appropriations, representing 23 % of the 2008 budget, has been carried forward by EFSA; reminds EFSA that already in 2007 about 16 % of the 2007 budget was carried over to 2008; reiterates in this context the principle of annuality as laid down in the Financial Regulation applicable to all bodies of the European Community; encourages EFSA to improve its budget management in order to reduce such high carry-over amounts;

3.   Underlines EFSA's role in providing independent scientific advice on all matters having a direct or indirect impact on food safety, including animal health and welfare and plant protection, and the need to properly communicate scientific advice;

4.   Observes that the authorised establishment plan provides for 335 posts in 2008, of which 318 had been occupied by the end of 2008, representing recruitment of 45 temporary staff compared to 2007; notes that an additional 40 support staff (auxiliary, contractual, second national experts) have been recruited to support EFSA in its tasks;

5.   Takes note of the second staff survey launched in October 2008 with a view to assessing EFSA’s working environment; is satisfied that the level of participation increased from 44 % in 2007 to 55 % in 2008; encourages the staff committee to conduct such a survey on a regular basis and to increase the level of participation, and expects EFSA’s management to incorporate the results drawn from the survey into its staff management and daily work;

6.   On the basis of the data available, is of the opinion that the Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority can be granted discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of EFSA for the financial year 2008.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

23.2.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

1

1

Members present for the final vote

János Áder, Elena Oana Antonescu, Paolo Bartolozzi, Sandrine Bélier, Sergio Berlato, Milan Cabrnoch, Nessa Childers, Esther de Lange, Bas Eickhout, Edite Estrela, Elisabetta Gardini, Françoise Grossetête, Satu Hassi, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Dan Jørgensen, Karin Kadenbach, Christa Klaß, Jo Leinen, Peter Liese, Kartika Tamara Liotard, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Gilles Pargneaux, Antonyia Parvanova, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Mario Pirillo, Vittorio Prodi, Frédérique Ries, Oreste Rossi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Carl Schlyter, Horst Schnellhardt, Richard Seeber, Theodoros Skylakakis, Bogusław Sonik, Catherine Soullie, Salvatore Tatarella, Anja Weisgerber, Åsa Westlund, Sabine Wils, Marina Yannakoudakis

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jutta Haug, Anna Záborská

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

23.3.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Ryszard Czarnecki, Luigi de Magistris, Tamás Deutsch, Martin Ehrenhauser, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Martin Häusling, Ville Itälä, Iliana Ivanova, Bogusław Liberadzki, Monica Luisa Macovei, Christel Schaldemose, Theodoros Skylakakis, Bart Staes, Georgios Stavrakakis, Søren Bo Søndergaard

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Esther de Lange, Christofer Fjellner, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Edit Herczog, Ivailo Kalfin, Véronique Mathieu, Olle Schmidt, Derek Vaughan

(1)

OJ C 304, 15.12.2009, p. 95.

(2)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(3)

OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.

(4)

OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(5)

OJ C 304, 15.12.2009, p. 95.

(6)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(7)

OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.

(8)

OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(9)

OJ C 304, 15.12.2009, p. 95.

(10)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(11)

OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.

(12)

OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(13)

OJ L 255, 26.9.2009, p. 185.

(14)

Texts adopted, P7_TA-PROV(2010)...

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