Procedure : 2017/0820(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0002/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0002/2018

Debates :

Votes :

PV 17/01/2018 - 10.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0008

REPORT     
PDF 684kWORD 70k
12.1.2018
PE 615.276v02-00 A8-0002/2018

on the nomination of Tony James Murphy as a Member of the Court of Auditors

(C8‑0402/2017 – 2017/0820(NLE))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Indrek Tarand

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 ANNEX 1: CURRICULUM VITÆ OF Tony James Murphy
 ANNEX 2: ANSWERS BY Tony James Murphy TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the nomination of Tony James Murphy as a Member of the Court of Auditors

(C8‑0402/2017 – 2017/0820(NLE))

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 286(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0402/2017),

–  having regard to Rule 121 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0002/2018),

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

B.  whereas at its meeting of 11 January 2018 the Committee on Budgetary Control heard the Council’s nominee for membership of the Court of Auditors;

1.  Delivers a favourable opinion on the Council’s nomination of Tony James Murphy as a Member of the Court of Auditors;

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


ANNEX 1: CURRICULUM VITÆ OF Tony James Murphy

WORK EXPERIENCE

01/05/2017–Present

Director of Chamber IV – Regulation of Markets and Competitive economy

European Court of Auditors, Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

Responsibilities include:

▪  Assisting and advising the Members of the Chamber in the performance of their duties

▪  Organising and managing the Chamber’s work

▪  Checking the quality of audit work

▪  Co-ordinating staff matters (around 100 audit staff)

▪  Representing the Court at meetings and events

01/01/2013–30/04/2017

Head of Private Office of Ms IVANOVA

European Court of Auditors, Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

Responsible for the management of the Private Office of Ms IVANOVA, Bulgarian member of the European Court of Auditors which involves:

▪  The provision of assistance in the planning and ongoing monitoring of those audit tasks for which the Member is the Reporting Member

▪  Assisting in the drafting of various Court publications in the domain of Financial, Compliance and Performance Auditing, in policy areas of Economic, social and territorial cohesion covering topics such as Youth Employment and Financial Instruments

▪  Presenting special reports to various audiences

▪  Assisting with the organisation of events (ie. high level meetings, conferences, audit visits)

▪  Providing support to the Member in the preparation and follow up of Court and Chamber meetings and also since October 2016 for Administrative Committee when the Member became Dean of the Chamber

▪  Reviewing documents issued by other Chambers and highlighting important issues

▪  Keeping the Member informed on relevant internal and external developments

▪  Developing contacts and establishing good working relationships with other cabinets, Directors, Principal managers, the auditors involved in tasks for which the Member is the Reporting Member, other European institutions such as the Commission and European Parliament, National Authorities and the Press

01/04/2007–31/12/2012

Head of the Internal Audit Unit

European Commission - Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs - Internal Audit unit (ECFIN 01), Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

Managing an independent internal auditing and consulting activity under the direct responsibility of the Director General. Supervision of and guidance to unit staff, responsible for the quality and timeliness of audit reports and other outputs.​​

2008

Chairman of the Audit Board

European Investment Fund (EIF)

As Chairman planned and managed the meetings of the Audit Board, including presenting the Annual Report to the Annual General Meeting of the EIF.

2007

Member of the Audit Board

European Investment Fund (EIF)

I was nominated as the Commission representative on the Audit Board of the EIF for the financial years 2007 and 2008 acting as a Member in 2007.

01/06/2003–31/03/2007

Auditor

European Commission - Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs - Internal Audit unit (ECFIN 01), Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

▪  Close collaboration with the Head of Unit in the carrying out of the ECFIN 01 risk assessment and the subsequent establishment of a 3 year strategic plan and an annual work programme for the unit. Carried out assurance and consultancy assignments and heavily involved in the drafting of audit reports and other outputs of the unit (e.g. activity reports, annual opinion on internal control)

▪  Responsible for the supervision and review of the work carried out by other colleagues within the unit, liaison with the Court of Auditors and also involved in regular contacts with the Internal Audit Service

01/11/1999–31/05/2003

Detached National Expert

European Commission - Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs - Internal Audit unit (ECFIN 01)

▪  Assisting in the carrying out of audit assignments which were led by A officials in the unit

▪  Amending working procedures and methodology based on previous experience in the absence of any available informatics audit management system

01/09/1994–31/10/1999

Senior Auditor (manager of several teams of auditors)

Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Irish Court of Auditors), Dublin, Éire/Ireland

▪  Manager of audit teams in the Health Division from September 1994 to October 1997. Responsible for the audit of a number of public hospitals and regional health authorities (annual budgets between €3m and €450m)​​

▪  From November 1997 transferred to Education Division and had similar responsibilities for various entities in the Education Sector including Universities, Regional Educational Authorities and semi-public entities

1998–1999

Chairman of the Audit Board

Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France)

Chairing meetings of the Board and responsible for the finalisation of the Annual Report in coordination with other Board Members

1997

Member of the Audit Board

Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France)

Nominated by the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General to participate as a Member to the Audit Board.

01/10/1979–31/08/1994

Trainee Auditor, Assistant Auditor, Auditor

Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Dublin, Éire/Ireland

▪  Initially training as a member of an audit team involved in the audit of various semi-state companies, then member of an audit team involved in the audit of various Government Departments and semi-state companies and finally Audit team leader involved in the audit of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners

▪  Assistant to the Irish Member of the Audit Board of Eurocontrol, Brussels for financial years 1991 and 1992.​

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

1997–2006

Member of the IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) and Certified Internal Auditor following November 2005 examinations.

 

1989

Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

 

1979–1984

Associate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

 

1979

Leaving Certificate (equivalent of Baccalaureate)

 

PERSONAL SKILLS

Mother tongue(s)

English

 

 

Other language(s)

UNDERSTANDING

SPEAKING

WRITING

Listening

Reading

Spoken interaction

Spoken production

 

Irish

 

 

Leaving Certificate

French

B2

B2

B2

B2

B2

 

completed levels 4-8 at Commission from August 2000-July 2002

German

B2

B2

B2

B2

B2

 

completed Levels 1-8 at Commission from October 2002-July 2006

 

Levels: A1 and A2: Basic user - B1 and B2: Independent user - C1 and C2: Proficient user

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Communication skills

▪  Excellent team spirit and strong capacity to adapt in a multicultural environment

▪  Have established a network of professional contacts within the Court of Auditors, and with the audit and control community in the European Commission, Agencies and Other Bodies of Union

▪  Experience of making presentations at conferences and seminars

Organisational / managerial skills

▪  Ability to manage and motivate other team members

▪  Ability to organise and complete deliverables with added value within agreed deadlines

▪  Strong analytical ability

▪  Decisive and pragmatic approach to problem solving

▪  High sense of initiative

Job-related skills

▪  Excellent knowledge of the professional standards and practices related to the audit profession.

▪  Excellent knowledge of the Internal Control Standards applicable in the Commission

▪  Good knowledge of the Financial Regulation and sectorial legislation in Cohesion Policy area and Regulation of Markets and Competitive economy

▪  Very good drafting skills

▪  Analytical and objective approach to activities being audited​

▪  Conscientious and high level of commitment

▪  Open to new methodologies and approaches​

Digital skills

▪  Regular user of Microsoft Office

▪  Familiar with AMS and ASSYST

▪  In previous experience have used IDEA (audit software tool for data extraction and analysis) to a large degree and Lotus Notes based audit management system​


ANNEX 2: ANSWERS BY Tony James Murphy TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE

Professional experience

1.  Please list your professional experience in public finance be it in budgetary planning, budget implementation or management or budget control or auditing.

I have a long and broad experience in the field of public audit spanning more than 35 years. This experience was gained at national and European level, includes both internal and external audit and has involved participating in and leading financial, compliance and performance audits.

I began my career in the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General the Irish Supreme Audit Institution (SAI), where I did my initial training in terms of public sector audit and obtained the professional qualification of Certified Chartered Accountant.

During my career in the Irish SAI, I progressed from being a trainee auditor to a team leader and eventually an audit manager. I was involved in the audits of various Government Departments, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and many publicly funded entities. As an audit manager I was responsible for the planning, execution and reporting on audits of Health and Education Authorities across Ireland including regional health boards, hospitals, universities and local education boards. Also during my time at the SAI, I had an introduction to auditing at European level in a multicultural environment through being an assistant to the Irish Member of the Audit Board of Eurocontrol for a two year period and had a subsequent mandate as a Member of the Audit Board of the Council of Europe, acting as Chairman for the second year.

In order to gain more in depth experience of public sector audit in a multicultural and multilinguistic environment I took up a post in the internal audit unit of DG Economic and Financial Affairs in the European Commission in November 1999. I remained in the unit until December 2012 where, during this time, I obtained a qualification as a Certified Internal Auditor and was Head of Unit for almost six years. In addition I was appointed to the Audit Board of the European Investment Fund as the European Commission nominee for two year period.

I broadened my professional experience by moving to the European Court of Auditors in January 2013 as the Head of Private Office of a Member of the Court working in Chamber II. In this position I was heavily involved in financial and compliance audits for the Chapters of the Annual Report of the Court relating to Economic, social and territorial cohesion. In relation to performance auditing I was actively involved in a series of special reports concerning Youth Employment and others on Financial Instruments, Financing of micro-entrepreneurs, Inland Waterways, Urban Transport and Education. In this capacity I supported the Member in the presentation of reports at the Budgetary Control Committee and other European Parliament Committees and had numerous contacts and interactions with high-level Commission staff, including Commissioners.

I was appointed as the Director of Chamber IV of the Court from May 2017, managing around 100 audit staff in tasks in the domain of research and innovation, EU agencies and joint undertakings, the single market and competition, trade, customs and taxation and financial and economic governance. In this capacity I provide support to the Six Members of Chamber IV and am responsible for the quality control of outputs of the Chamber. These inputs include the Statement of Assurance for ‘Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs’, financial and legality and compliance audits of European Agencies and Joint undertakings and Special Reports covering the domains outlined above.

I believe that, if appointed, my broad professional and managerial experience in public sector auditing in national and international environments and my two professional qualifications in accounting and auditing would contribute positively to the work of the Court of Auditors.

2.  What have been your most significant achievements in your professional career?

During my long experience in public sector audit, I have had a number of significant achievements and would underline the following three:

–  The Irish SAI was mandated in 1994 to carry out the audits of a large number of public entities which were previously audited by Local Government auditors. I was appointed as an Audit manager for a portfolio of these entities which included regional health authorities and hospitals with annual financial budgets ranging from €3mio to €450mio. This was a challenging situation given that the health sector was a completely new domain for the SAI and there was no previous experience available in that field. The main challenge I faced was to, within a very short time frame, design the audit approach and elaborate the audit programmes to be completed by my teams to be in a position to give an audit opinion on their financial statements. This had to be completed within legal deadlines and also to enable the SAI to raise any issues concerning legality, regularity and sound financial management. These deadlines and reporting of issues were met with a robust audit framework in terms of approach and methodology.

–  The second achievement I would like to raise is in relation to my role in the development of the internal audit function in DG ECFIN. Internal audit was just being established in the European Commission when I joined in late 1999 with internal audit capabilities (IACs) being set up in all Directorate Generals. Based on my previous experience in the SAI I had a key role in developing the work programme, the audit methodology and setting up the rules and procedures of the internal audit function in DG ECFIN to comply with international auditing standards. This was carried out in collaboration with the Internal Audit Service and the other IACs in the Commission through the regular meetings of this network known as Auditnet and related working groups set up to address specific issues. Later as Head of Unit, there was a review carried out by a firm of external auditors which concluded that the unit generally complied with the applicable international auditing standards.

–  Thirdly I would like to refer to my involvement in the series of three Special Reports concerning Youth Employment carried out during my time as Head of Private Office of a Member of the Court of Auditors. This involvement included analysing, drafting and clarifying the main messages and preparing a communication strategy for presenting them to stakeholders. I was also responsible for managing the work and organising the teams, especially for the first Youth Guarantee report where I was very heavily involved. In my view this was a particularly relevant topic for European citizens especially those young people facing difficulties in finding employment. The first audit concerned the design of the EU Youth Guarantee and was innovative given that it was carried out prior to the actual implementation of the Guarantee and raised potential risks for subsequent implementation which could already be taken into account by the European Commission, the Member States and the Budgetary Authorities being the European Parliament and the Council. The third audit in the series looked at the actual implementation in terms of results achieved of the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative in a sample of Member States. Between these two Special Reports there was another related to Youth Action Teams which involved the reprogramming of EU funds to measures which would address youth employment. I believe this series of reports made a real contribution to the debate on the future orientation of the Youth Guarantee. All three reports were well received by the CONT and resulted in fruitful discussions and ultimately a high level ECA conference in the European Parliament premises.

3.  What has been your professional experience of international multicultural and multilinguistic organisations or institutions based outside your home country?

To work in a multilingual and multicultural environment was an objective of mine which has proved to be a very enriching experience. I joined the EU institutions 18 years ago and have spent twelve years in DG ECFIN and another six years in the European Court of Auditors, both of which are based in Luxembourg. In addition to the Institutions I have also gained international experience by my participation in a number of Audit Boards including Eurocontrol in Brussels and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg while working in the Irish SAI and finally on the audit board of the European Investment Fund in Luxembourg as the nominee of the European Commission.

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

Such a procedure did not apply during the course of my career.

5.  Which of you previous professional positions were a result of a political nomination?

None.

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

  The most important decisions in my professional life are linked to my significant achievements. As these were all related to public sector audit, the first important decision was to join the Irish SAI and to obtain the professional qualification as a Certified Chartered Accountant which were the main building blocks for my subsequent career in public sector auditing.

  The second important decision was to address my desire to work in a multicultural and multilingual environment by joining the European Commission. This was an enriching experience both from a professional and personal point of view and allowed me to interact as a colleague with professional people from different cultures and mind-sets which has broadened my horizons.

  Thirdly an important decision was to join the Private Office of a Member of the Court of Auditors. This experience complemented my professional experience as in addition to being involved in the technical aspects of audits it gave me a greater insight into the needs and expectations of stakeholders of the Court of Auditors. It also gave me the opportunity to interact with Members of the European Parliament, notably the CONT committee and with Commissioners and Director Generals in the European Commission.

Independence

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

As the EU’s external auditor and guardian of the citizens’ financial interests, it is an independent institution where it is essential that all staff members respect the Ethical Guidelines of the institution and where governance is conducted by fully independent Members.

Not only do articles 285 and 286 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union call for the need of complete independence from Members of the European Court of Auditors, but it is an integral requirement of the important public sector auditing standard applicable to Supreme Audit Institutions, ISSAI 1: the Lima Declaration. Also ISSAI 30 Code of Ethics requires that SAI staff shall be free of impairments to independence and objectivity, whether real or perceived, that result from political bias, participation in management, self-review, financial or other personal interest, or relationships with, or undue influence from, others. This principle is also acknowledged by the Code of Conduct for Court Members which all Members of the Court have to accept and adhere to.

If nominated, in performing my prospective duties as a Member of the ECA, I will continue to comply with the ethical standards that I am currently subject to as Director at the ECA and would perform my duties fully in line with the relevant rules and regulations. I would highlight the fact that independence and objectivity are attributes that have been required to be fully respected by me throughout my professional career based on the different functions that I have occupied and stemming from the ethical obligations of my membership of professional accounting and auditing bodies.

If a situation would arise where a there was a real or perceived conflict of interest, I would immediately seek the advice of the Court’s Ethics Committee through consultation with the ECA President and follow any decision taken.

8.  Do you or your close relatives (parents, brothers and sisters, legal partner and children) have any business or financial holdings or any other commitments, which might conflict with your prospective duties?

No

9.  Are you prepared to disclose all your financial interests and other commitments to the President of the Court and to make them public?

Yes

10.  Are you involved in any current legal proceedings? If so, please provide us with details.

No

11.  Do you have any active or executive role in politics, if so at what level? Have you held any political position during the last 18 months? If so, please provide us with details.

No

12.  Will you step down from any elected office or give up any active function with responsibilities in a political party if you are appointed as a Member of the Court?

Not Applicable

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

In my view strong action has to be taken to demonstrate that fraud and corruption will not be tolerated in any way in relation to EU funds. Such cases have a detrimental negative effect on the perception of citizens in relation to the functioning of EU institutions and in particular that taxpayers monies are not subject to adequate controls and scrutiny to ensure that they are used for the intended purpose.

  Article 325 TFEU clearly states that the Union and the Member States shall counter fraud and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the Union, and the Court has an important role to play in this.

  The International Standard of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) 1240, states that the primary responsibility for the prevention and detection of fraud rests with those charged with governance and management of activities, such as the Commission, Member State authorities and beneficiaries in relation to EU funds. However, the role of Court in the fight against fraud and corruption, as the EU’s independent Auditor, is to maintain professional scepticism and professional judgement throughout the audit process and to identify potential material misstatement due to fraud, obtain evidence regarding the risks and report cases to the European Anti‐Fraud Office (OLAF) with appropriate documentation.

  If a case of major irregularity or fraud came to my attention involving persons in my Member State of origin I would treat it in exactly the same manner as any other case from any Member State. I would follow the standard procedure within the Court of Auditors for the assessment and reporting of cases to OLAF which I would initiate immediately so that any potential subsequent investigation is not compromised.

Performance of duties

14.  What should be the main features of a sound financial management culture in any public service? How could the ECA help to enforce it?

A sound financial management culture should give a reasonable level of assurance to citizens that scarce taxpayer monies are being used in the most economic, efficient and effective way (the so called 3Es) to further their best interests. In order to deliver this assurance there is a need for a framework which is underpinned by accountability and transparency and includes the following components:

  –  A clear direction in terms of strategies and objectives;

  –  Adequate administrative capacity to deliver;

–  A robust control framework to ensure legality and regularity of expenditure;

  –  Democratic accountability in terms of transparent reporting and publication of results achieved;

–  A governance structure that ensures ethical standards enforced.

  The ECA audits should assess these components during audits of sound financial management with a view to identifying shortcomings and making recommendations to address them with a view to improving the situation going forward.

15.  Under the Treaty, the Court is required to assist Parliament in exercising its powers of control over the implementation of the budget. How would you further improve the cooperation between the Court and the European Parliament (in particular, its Committee on Budgetary Control) to enhance both the public oversight of the general spending and its value for money?

  Article 287 TFEU states that the Court of Auditors shall provide the European Parliament and the Council with a statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions which shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. This statement may be supplemented by specific assessments for each major area of Union activity.

  Under Article 319 TFEU, the European Parliament, acting on a recommendation from the Council, shall give a discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget. To this end, the Council and the European Parliament in turn shall examine the accounts, the financial statement and the evaluation report referred to in Article 318, the annual report by the Court of Auditors together with the replies of the institutions under audit to the observations of the Court of Auditors, the statement of assurance referred to in Article 287(1), second subparagraph and any relevant special reports by the Court of Auditors.

  Based on the Treaty requirements above, the ECA has a key role in providing the EP and the CONT with relevant information to enhance the public oversight of general spending and its value for money. There is an onus on the ECA to ensure that this information in terms of the Annual Report and Special Reports are provided in a clear and timely fashion whereby the most important issues that need to be addressed are highlighted for consideration by the CONT, with a view to contributing to the decision-making process for EU policies. Timeliness of delivery of reports is key for the CONT so that relevant findings can be considered in its debates formulating new or extending existing policy objectives. Improvements are continuously being made in terms of clarity, relevance and timeliness by the ECA and this is reflected in the introduction of additional products such as landscape reviews, briefing papers and quick audits. Such adaptation by the Court to a changing environment is welcome and should continue in order to increase its relevance and meet the expectations of its stakeholders, while maintaining its independence.

  In view of this, continuous interaction and communication between the ECA Members and CONT is essential and if my nomination is approved I would be proactive in this regard, as I consider the CONT to be a key stakeholder of the ECA. In addition to existing practice of special reports being presented to the CONT, the participation of ECA Members to CONT missions and consultations with the CONT to increase the relevance of topics included in the ECA Annual Work Programme are also welcome developments, which I fully support and would engage in.

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

  Performance auditing complements financial and compliance audits and is equally important to these with the aim of providing information in relation to aspects of economy, efficiency and effectiveness to decision makers and managers implementing activities and programmes. In view of current and likely future budgetary constraints it is vital that these three aspects are maximised in relation to the use of EU funds thereby contributing to good governance, accountability and transparency.

While compliance with rules and regulations is a necessary requirement, it is extremely important to determine whether EU funded programmes/activities are actually delivering the policy objectives as economically and efficiently as possible. The findings of performance audits including recommendations to address shortcomings should be considered and incorporated by management in their procedures with a view to improving future performance. Follow up of implementation of recommendations is also important and CONT also has a role to play in this regard based on feedback from the Commission and ECA follow up reports.

  The timing of carrying out performance audits and consideration of the conclusions and findings need to be properly planned so that they are available in due time to serve as an input to the decision-making process on the use of EU funds, for any future revisions of regulations, setting of policy objectives and design of future programmes.

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

  As required by Article 287 TFEU, the ECA and the National Audit Institutions shall cooperate in a spirit of trust while maintaining their independence. This has been achieved and there is a well-developed cooperation framework amongst these institutions through the Contact Committee. The added value of the cooperation between the ECA and SAIs lies in the promotion of mutual learning, knowledge sharing, benchmarking and the development of best practice. Moreover by avoiding the duplication of audit work, cooperation has the potential to be a cost-effective way of strengthening audit results while reducing administrative burden on the auditee. The regular meetings of the Contact Committee provide opportunities for discussing these issues, sharing each other’s working programmes and agreeing on carrying out of co-operative audits.

  While the main focus of National Audit Institutions is on auditing national funds there is an added value in such co-operation, being relevant and effective as EU funds co-finance many national policies. This is particularly relevant for policy areas implemented under shared management which concerns around 80% of the EU budget. This is the area where co-operative audits could be most beneficial.

  Given that the ECA has a continuous direct relationship with both the CONT and the National Audit Institutes it can ensure that cooperation and coordination is maximised in terms of auditing the EU budget. Ultimately all three parties are striving for the most effective, efficient and economic use of public funds and through working together effectively the end result is more than the sum of the individual parts.

18.  How would you further develop the reporting of the ECA to give the European Parliament all the necessary information on the accuracy of the data provided by the Member States to the European Commission?

The ECA has raised concerns on weaknesses in the data provided by the Member States. Shortcomings in the robustness of monitoring and reporting systems at Member State level have featured consistently in ECA Special Reports. An example of the importance of such data can be found in the Annual Activity Reports of DGs which include a declaration of assurance by the Director General and are a key component in the governance structure of the European Commission.

Given the current focus on performance and results related to EU funded activities, it is imperative that complete reliable data is available at Member State level and this is comprehensively reported on a timely basis. This would allow the results of these activities to be assessed and made available to decision makers, so that the limited EU funds are allocated to those having the most impact. As the programming cycle is not yet linked to performance reporting, this situation raises difficulties for the CONT in discharging its functions as budgets for future spending have to be approved without any clear view on the results and impact of existing programmes and activities.

It is important that the ECA continues to bring the issue to the attention of the CONT and make recommendations to ensure Member States address these shortcomings going forward and provide pertinent information in relation to performance bearing in mind aspects such as administrative burden and cost/benefits.

Other questions

19.  Will you withdraw your candidacy if Parliament’s opinion on your appointment as Member of the Court is unfavourable?

Yes.


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Partial renewal of members of the Court of Auditors - IE nominee

References

14272/2017 – C8-0402/2017 – 2017/0820(NLE)

Date of consultation / request for consent

15.11.2017

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

CONT

16.11.2017

 

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Indrek Tarand

30.11.2017

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

11.1.2018

 

 

 

Date adopted

11.1.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Martina Dlabajová, Ingeborg Gräßle, Arndt Kohn, Bogusław Liberadzki, Bart Staes, Indrek Tarand, Tomáš Zdechovský, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Brian Hayes, Marian-Jean Marinescu

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Norbert Erdős, Wolf Klinz, Sven Schulze, Lieve Wierinck

Date tabled

12.1.2018

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