2008/502/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 V - Court of Auditors


Published: 2008-04-24

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15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/60


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 V — Court of Auditors

(2008/502/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 (C6-0468/2006) (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 (A6-0107/2007),

1.

Grants the Court of Auditors' Secretary-General discharge for the implementation of the Court of Auditors 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 187/61


RESOLUTION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

of 24 April 2007

with observations forming an integral part of the Decision on the discharge for implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005, Section V — Court of Auditors

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 (C6-0468/2006) (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 (A6-0107/2007),

1.

Notes that in 2005 the European Court of Auditors (ECA) had available commitment appropriations amounting to a total of EUR 107 548 618,24 with a utilisation rate of 87,22 %;

2.

Notes that following the introduction of accrual accounting with effect from 1 January 2005 the ECA's 2005 financial statements disclose a negative economic out-turn for the year (EUR 16 820 000) and an excess of liabilities over assets of EUR 11 450 000;

3.

Recalls that as regards the financial year 2005 (as was also the case for the financial year 2004) the ECA's accounts were audited by an external firm, KPMG, which concluded that:

‘[t]he attached financial statements give a true and fair view, in accordance with Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002, the implementing rules, generally accepted accounting principles and the European Court of Auditor's Internal Rules, of the assets and financial position of the European Court of Auditors at 31 December 2005 and of the economic out-turn and the revenue and expenditure for the financial year then ended.’

4.

Notes, however, that KPMG made that statement subject to the effect of any rectifications that might prove necessary with respect to the treatment given, as regards accounting, to the ECA's Members' pensions, bearing in mind that the relevant accounting standard No 12 was then being revised; points out that the revised standard was adopted by the Commission's accounting officer in October 2006;

5.

Recalls that in its 2004 accounts the ECA recorded, for the first time, a provision for its Members' pensions combined with a long-term claim on the Member States to the value of EUR 43 689 621; the amount of the provision was calculated on the basis of an actuarial analysis carried out by the European Community;

6.

Notes that, in the absence of an equivalent provision as regards its Members' pensions, the ECA's balance sheet for the financial year 2005 discloses a deficit of EUR 16 800 000 (compared with balanced assets and liabilities in 2004);

7.

Believes that both the liability for future pension payments and also the long-term claim against the Member States — by virtue of their guaranteeing the financing of the pension scheme — should be included in the balance sheet in order to reflect the principles of accrual accounting applicable from 1 January 2005;

8.

Recognises that the ECA has correctly applied the relevant accounting standard; expresses, however, its concern at the current position with regard to the ECA's balance sheet under which the ECA's Members' future pensions are included under liabilities without a balancing asset; notes the apparent explanation that the Member States' guarantee in respect of such pension rights cannot properly be considered as an asset within the meaning of the Commission's accounting standard No 12 (employee benefits);

9.

Notes with concern the ECA's difficulty in recruiting qualified staff for several posts from the competitions organised by EPSO;

10.

Recalls that Mr Weber, President of the ECA, in a speech in Strasbourg on 14 November 2005, told the Committee on Budgetary Control that the ECA was carrying out a self-assessment of its organisation and methods to be followed by a ‘peer review’;

11.

Reiterates its hope that it will be possible to devise a more rational structure for the ECA before the next enlargement; asks the ECA to consider existing models with a view to reducing the total number of ECA Members; calls for consideration of proposals to introduce a rotating system similar to that applying to the Governing Council of the European Central Bank or a system with a single Auditor-General;

12.

Notes from the ECA's activity report that in 2005 it decided to begin a self-assessment exercise based on the Common Assessment Framework model jointly developed by the European Institute of Public Administration and the Innovative Public Service Group as a result of the cooperation among EU ministers responsible for public administration;

13.

Welcomes the information contained in the ECA's replies to the rapporteur’s questionnaire that following that self-assessment an action plan had been adopted by the ECA, and implementation has started with actions covering broad areas such as mission and strategic objectives, programming and performance measuring, audit methodology, human resource strategy, internal and external communication and administrative procedures;

14.

Notes that the action plan will be subjected to a ‘peer review’ and that the President of the ECA will give more details on its contents during his presentation of the ECA's annual work programme for 2007;

15.

Notes in relation to declarations of Members' financial interests that in compliance with the ECA's Code of Conduct, ECA Members communicate a declaration of their financial interests and other assets (including shares, convertible bonds and investment certificates, as well as land and real property, together with their spouses' professional activities) to the President of the ECA, who keeps them under confidential custody, and that these declarations are not published;

16.

States that, as a matter of principle and in the interests of transparency, Members of all EU institutions should be required to submit a declaration of financial interests which should be accessible on the Internet via a public register; calls on the ECA to inform Parliament by 30 September 2007 of what appropriate measures it will take;

17.

Recalls that the Court of Justice has, at Parliament's suggestion, set up a working group to study the feasibility of requiring, inter alia, a declaration of its Members' financial interests; considers that this question could form a useful part of the ECA's current self-assessment and peer review process.


(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).