2008/511/EC: Decision of the European Parliament of 24 April 2007 on the discharge for the implementation of the budget of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia for the financial year 2005


Published: 2008-04-24

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now for only USD$20 per month, or Get a Day Pass for only USD$4.99.

15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/92


DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

of 24 April 2007

on the discharge for the implementation of the budget of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia for the financial year 2005

(2008/511/EC)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia for the financial year 2005 (1),

having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the final annual accounts of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia for the financial year 2005, together with the Centre's replies (2),

having regard to the Council's Recommendation of 27 February 2007 (5711/2007 — C6-0080/2007),

having regard to the EC Treaty, and in particular Article 276 thereof,

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 (3), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1035/97 of 2 June 1997 establishing a European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (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 (5), and in particular Article 94 thereof,

having regard to Rule 71 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the Report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0118/2007),

1.

Grants the director of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia discharge for the implementation of the Centre's budget for the financial year 2005;

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 Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, 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).

The President

Hans-Gert PÖTTERING

The Secretary-General

Harald RØMER


(1)  OJ C 266, 31.10.2006, p. 46.

(2)  OJ C 312, 19.12.2006, p. 93.

(3)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).

(4)  OJ L 151, 10.6.1997, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1652/2003 (OJ L 245, 29.9.2003, p. 33).

(5)  OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.



15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/93


RESOLUTION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

of 24 April 2007

with observations forming an integral part of the Decision on the discharge for the implementation of the budget of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia for the financial year 2005

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia for the financial year 2005 (1),

having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the final annual accounts of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia for the financial year 2005, together with the Centre's replies (2),

having regard to the Council's Recommendation of 27 February 2007 (5711/2007 — C6-0080/2007),

having regard to the EC Treaty, and in particular Article 276 thereof,

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 (3) and in particular Article 185 thereof,

having regard to Council Regulation EC) No 1035/97 of 2 June 1997 establishing a European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (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 (5), and in particular, Article 94 thereof,

having regard to Rule 71 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the Report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0118/2007),

A.

whereas the Court of Auditors stated that it obtained reasonable assurance that the annual accounts for the financial year ended 31 December 2005 were reliable, and that, the underlying transactions, taken as a whole, were legal and regular,

B.

whereas on 27 April 2006 Parliament gave discharge to the director in respect of the Centre's budget for the 2004 financial year (6) and in the Resolution accompanying the discharge Decision Parliament, inter alia,

expressed its concern about the high level of cancelled carry-overs in particular in Title I (staff expenditure),

was concerned by the irregularities noted by the Court of Auditors in contract tendering and awards.

General points concerning the majority of EU Agencies requiring individual discharge

1.

Considers that the ever-growing number of Community Agencies and the activities of certain of them do not seem to form part of an overall policy framework, and that the remits of some Agencies do not always reflect the real needs of the Union or the expectations of its citizens, and notes that in general terms the Agencies do not always have a good image or a good press;

2.

Invites the Commission therefore to define an overall policy framework for the setting up of new Community Agencies and to present a cost-benefit study before the setting up of any new Agency, while being careful to avoid any overlap of activities between Agencies or with the remits of other European organisations;

3.

Calls on the Court of Auditors to give its opinion on the cost-benefit study before Parliament takes its decision;

4.

Invites the Commission to present every five years a study on the added value of every existing Agency; invites all relevant institutions in the case of a negative evaluation of the added value of an Agency to take the necessary steps by reformulating the mandate of that Agency or by closing it;

5.

Considers it regrettable, given the growing number of regulatory agencies, that the negotiations on the draft interinstitutional agreement on the operating framework for the European regulatory Agencies have not yet been concluded, and calls on the relevant departments of the Commission, in consultation with the Court of Auditors, to do their utmost to ensure that the agreement is brought to a rapid conclusion;

6.

Notes that the Commission's budgetary responsibility calls for closer linking of the Agencies to the Commission; calls on the Commission and the Council to take all necessary steps to give the Commission a blocking minority in the supervisory bodies of the regulatory Agencies by 31 December 2007 and to provide for such a minority from the outset when new Agencies are set up;

7.

Invites the Court of Auditors to create an additional chapter in its Annual Report, devoted to all Agencies to be discharged under the Commission's accounts in order to have a much clearer picture of the use of EU funds by Agencies;

8.

Recalls the principle according to which all Community Agencies, whether subsidised or not, are subject to discharge by the Parliament, even where a discharge authority exists by virtue of their constitutive texts;

9.

Calls on the Court of Auditors to perform performance audits for all Agencies and to report back to the relevant committees of Parliament, including the Committee on Budgetary Control;

10.

Notes that the number of Agencies is constantly increasing and that, in accordance with the Commission's political responsibility for the operation of the Agencies, which goes far beyond mere logistical support, there is an even higher need for the Directorates-General of the Commission charged with the setting up and monitoring of Agencies to develop a common approach to the Agencies; considers that a structure similar to the one created by the Agencies for coordination among the DGs concerned would be a pragmatic way forward towards a common approach by the Commission on all matters relating to the Agencies;

11.

Invites the Commission to improve administrative and technical support to the Agencies, taking into account the growing complexity of the Community's administrative rules and technical problems;

12.

Notes the lack of a disciplinary body in any of the Community Agencies, and calls on the Commission to take the necessary steps to ensure that such a mechanism is rapidly put in place;

13.

Welcomes the considerable improvements in the coordination among the Agencies, which allows them to tackle recurring problems and makes cooperation with the Commission and Parliament more efficient;

14.

Takes the view that the establishment by a number of Agencies of a shared support service aimed at making their computerised financial management systems consistent with those of the Commission is a measure that should be taken further and extended;

15.

Calls upon the Agencies to improve their cooperation and benchmarking with actors in the field; urges the Commission to adopt any measures it considers necessary to help the Agencies enhance their image and raise the profile of their activities;

16.

Calls upon the Commission to come up with a proposal to harmonise the format of the annual reporting by the Agencies and to develop performance indicators which would allow a comparison of their efficiency;

17.

Invites the Agencies to present at the beginning of every year performance indicators against which they could be measured;

18.

Invites all Agencies to increasingly use SMART objectives which should lead to more realistic planning and implementation of goals;

19.

Agrees with the Court of Auditors that the Commission also bears responsibility for the (financial) management of the Agencies; therefore, urges the Commission to monitor and where necessary direct and help the management of the different Agencies, especially in relation to the proper application of tender procedures, transparency of recruitment procedures, sound financial management (underspending and overbudgeting) and most importantly the proper application of the rules concerning the internal control framework;

20.

Considers that the Agencies' work programmes should express their contributions in operational and measurable terms and that due consideration should be given to the Commission's Internal Control Standards;

Specific points

21.

Notes that although the Centre's rate of commitment for the appropriations for the financial year 2005 was over 90 %, it was found that more than 50 % of the commitments for administrative expenditure were carried over and that in general there was a high rate of cancellation of the appropriations carried over (between 15 % and 25 %, depending on the title); invites the Centre to improve its expenditure planning and the way it monitors the implementation of this expenditure; underlines that transfers between budget headings need to be justified and documented in accordance with the provisions in force;

22.

Notes that no activity-based management had been brought in despite the Centre's financial regulation making provision for its introduction on the lines of that applied to the general budget with a view to improving the monitoring of performance; invites the Centre to present a work programme which expresses its contributions in operational and measurable terms;

23.

Notes that the Centre had no system for planning and managing its equipment acquisitions and that it did not make any cyclical checks on its inventory, although this would have improved the inventory's reliability; invites the Centre to remedy this situation;

24.

Notes that the Centre's internal control system suffered from various shortcomings, such as for instance the fact that the financial circuits set up by the authorising officer had not been described, the systems whereby the authorising officer and his delegates supplied information to the accounting officer had in particular not been validated by the latter and the principle of the segregation of duties was not applied strictly, especially between the duties of initiation and verification; invites the Centre, in relation to commitments, to include sound financial management in the list of matters to be covered by ex ante verifications;

25.

Invites the Centre to fully apply the rule whereby members of the selection boards must always be of a grade equivalent to or higher than that of the post to be filled;

26.

Notes that the invitations to tender issued by the Centre do not offer much by way of explanation as regards the minimum quality of bids and the weighting of price factors; invites the Centre to apply the rules for tenders strictly.


(1)  OJ C 266, 31.10.2006, p. 46.

(2)  OJ C 312, 19.12.2006, p. 93.

(3)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).

(4)  OJ L 151, 10.6.1997, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1652/2003 (OJ L 245, 29.9.2003, p. 33).

(5)  OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(6)  OJ L 340, 6.12.2006, p. 80.