2008/505/EC: Decision of the European Parliament of 24 April 2007 on the discharge for implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005, Section VIIIA - European Ombudsman


Published: 2008-04-24

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15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/71


DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

of 24 April 2007

on the discharge for implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005, Section VIIIA — European Ombudsman

(2008/505/EC)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

having regard to the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005 (1),

having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Communities for the financial year 2005 — Volume I (C6-0471/2006) (2),

having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on implementation of the budget for the financial year 2005 and the Court of Auditors' special reports, together with the audited institutions' replies (3),

having regard to the statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors pursuant to Article 248 of the EC Treaty (4),

having regard to Articles 272(10), 274, 275 and 276 of the EC Treaty,

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 (5), and in particular Articles 50, 86, 145, 146 and 147 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 (A6-0104/2007),

1.

Grants the European Ombudsman discharge for implementation of the 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 Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor, 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 L 60, 8.3.2005.

(2)  OJ C 264, 31.10.2006, p. 1.

(3)  OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 1.

(4)  OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 10.

(5)  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).



15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/72


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 European Union general budget for the financial year 2005, Section VIIIA — European Ombudsman

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

having regard to the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005 (1),

having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Communities for the financial year 2005 — Volume I (C6-0471/2006) (2),

having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on implementation of the budget for the financial year 2005 and the Court of Auditors' special reports, together with audited institutions' replies (3),

having regard to the statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors pursuant to Article 248 of the EC Treaty (4),

having regard to Articles 272(10), 274, 275 and 276 of the EC Treaty,

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 (5), and in particular Articles 50, 86, 145, 146 and 147 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 (A6-0104/2007),

1.

Notes that in 2005 the European Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) had available commitment appropriations amounting to a total of EUR 7 224 554 (2004: EUR 5 782 968) with a utilisation rate of 84,27 %;

2.

Notes that the Ombudsman's 2005 financial statements disclose a negative economic out-turn for the year (EUR 98 482) and identical totals of assets and liabilities (EUR 890 853);

3.

Points out that the Court of Auditors in its Annual Report on the 2005 financial year indicates that the audit did not give rise to any observations as regards the Ombudsman;

4.

Notes that according to the Internal Auditor's report to the Institution No 6/81: i) the internal auditor's work in 2005 did not reveal any areas of significant risk to the Ombudsman's budgetary operations; and ii) the Institution's internal management and control systems are effective and provide reasonable assurance of attaining the control objectives on a consistent basis;

5.

Notes the information given by the Principal Authorising Officer by Delegation in his activity statement that a self-assessment of the efficiency of the internal control framework of the Ombudsman's services was carried out in early 2006 and that the global picture resulting from this exercise was that of an overall satisfactory level of implementation of the internal control standards (76 %); also notes however that improvements in effectiveness were needed in some areas (risk assessment, sensitive functions, multi-annual programming);

6.

Recalls that since 2004 the Ombudsman has had autonomy and full control over the financial transactions relating to his section of the budget;

7.

Notes that a new framework cooperation agreement of indefinite duration between the Ombudsman and the European Parliament concerning the provision of certain administrative services, including translation and office premises, was negotiated during 2005 and signed in March 2006;

8.

Records that the Ombudsman's annual caseload has increased from roughly 800 in 1996 to nearly 4 000 in 2005, according to the Ombudsman's Annual Report for 2005, with a particularly sharp rise between 2003 and 2004 (53 %);

9.

Remarks that during 2005 the Ombudsman's Office experienced the full budgetary impact of the 2004 enlargement and that in the years 2004 and 2005 the budgetary authority authorised the Ombudsman to add to his establishment plan 20 new posts, which were added to the 31 that existed in 2003 (a 65 % increase in staff), while at the same time the level of appropriations authorised in the budget rose from EUR 4 438 653 in 2003 to EUR 7 312 614 in 2005 (also a 65 % increase);

10.

Notes from the Ombudsman's Annual Report that in 2005 he continued his information visits to the Member States with a view to improving citizens' awareness about their rights, raising the profile of the Ombudsman's work among key members of the judicial, legislative and executive branches and enriching his collaboration with his national counterparts; stresses the importance of that information campaign;

11.

Notes further that in 2005 the Ombudsman and his staff pursued their efforts to present the work of the Institution, making 120 presentations at conferences, seminars and meetings during 2005, together with 50 interviews with journalists;

12.

Notes that according to his replies to the rapporteur's questionnaire the Ombudsman seeks to target information to those countries where the level of complaints received is lower than might be expected given the size of the population, for example, Germany and Italy and that the Ombudsman's media strategy is therefore to raise the Ombudsman's profile in such Member States; considers that in order to identify target countries, the Ombudsman should rely on surveys on the awareness of the citizens about his work in the various Member States rather than the number of complaints;

13.

Points to the remark in the Ombudsman's activity statement that the year 2005 was an exceptional year for the Ombudsman from a communications perspective in that in addition to the Institution's usual activities in giving information on its work it also organised an extensive series of events to mark the 10th anniversary of the Ombudsman; moreover, the Institution's communications capacity was significantly expanded through the recruitment of personnel to fill three new specialist communications posts and the assignment to the newly-created communications sector of a further member of staff from within the existing personnel;

14.

Recalls that the Ombudsman's Statute laid down by the European Parliament in 1994 imposes no obligation on the Ombudsman to publish his financial and economic interests;

15.

Notes that the Statute places the Ombudsman on a footing comparable with that of a Judge of the European Court of Justice (ECJ); points out that the ECJ — on the European Parliament's suggestion — has set up a working group to examine the most appropriate way of ensuring transparency with regard to the judges' financial interests; asks that pending the outcome of the inquiry the Ombudsman should follow the example set by the European Data Protection Supervisor and his deputy in publishing a declaration of financial interests based on the form used for the Register of Financial Interests of Members of the European Parliament.


(1)  OJ L 60, 8.3.2005.

(2)  OJ C 264, 31.10.2006, p. 1.

(3)  OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 1.

(4)  OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 10.

(5)  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).