17.10.2012   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 286/221


DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

of 10 May 2012

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Network and Information Security Agency for the financial year 2010

(2012/582/EU)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Network and Information Security Agency for the financial year 2010,

having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Network and Information Security Agency for the financial year 2010, together with the Agency’s replies (1),

having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 21 February 2012 (06083/2012 – C7-0051/2012),

having regard to 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 460/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 establishing the European Network and Information Security Agency (3), and in particular Article 17 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 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (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 (A7-0136/2012),

1.

Grants the Executive Director of the European Network and Information Security Agency discharge in respect of the implementation of the Agency’s budget for the financial year 2010;

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 Network and Information Security Agency, 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

Martin SCHULZ

The Secretary-General

Klaus WELLE


(1)  OJ C 366, 15.12.2011, p. 15.

(2)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(3)  OJ L 77, 13.3.2004, p. 1.

(4)  OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.


RESOLUTION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

of 10 May 2012

with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Network and Information Security Agency for the financial year 2010

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Network and Information Security Agency for the financial year 2010,

having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Network and Information Security Agency for the financial year 2010, together with the Agency’s replies (1),

having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 21 February 2012 (06083/2012 – C7-0051/2012),

having regard to 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 460/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 establishing the European Network and Information Security Agency (3), and in particular Article 17 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 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (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 (A7-0136/2012),

A.

whereas the Court of Auditors has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the annual accounts of the European Network and Information Security Agency (‘the Agency’) for the financial year 2010 are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

B.

whereas on 10 May 2011 Parliament granted the Executive Director of the Agency discharge for the implementation of its budget for the financial year 2009 (5), and in its resolution accompanying the discharge decision, inter alia:

expressed its concern that the Court of Auditors reported appropriations carried forward to the following year of 19 % of the total budget of the Agency,

urged the Agency to put in place an exhaustive physical inventory list and ensure the correctness of the accounting records,

urged the Agency to:

improve the transparency of the estimates and of who has responsibility,

strengthen its procurement authorisation at the financing decision and work-programme level,

ensure that disclosure of exceptions in its Annual Activity Report (AAR) is made in a comprehensive manner,

ensure adequate follow-up of potential irregularities,

develop and report on ex-post controls,

C.

whereas the overall budget of the Agency for the year 2010 was EUR 8 113 188, which is 0,05 % lower than its budget for 2009; whereas for 2010 the initial contribution of the Union to the budget of the Agency amounted to EUR 7 288 200 (6) compared with EUR 7 800 000 in 2009,

Budget and financial management

1.

Recalls that the initial Union contribution to the Agency for 2010 amounted to EUR 7 288 200; notes however that EUR 640 000, coming from the recovery of surplus, was added to that amount which, as a result, makes a total Union contribution of EUR 7 928 200 for 2010;

2.

Acknowledges from the annual accounts of the Agency for the financial year 2010 that its initial budget amounted to EUR 7 928 200; notes, however, that the Management Board amended the budget to reflect the contribution of the EFTA countries of EUR 184 988;

3.

Establishes from the annual accounts that appropriations were committed at a rate of 99,95 % compared with 94,40 % in 2009, while payments reached the level of 76,46 % of the total appropriations managed, compared with 75,67 % in 2009;

Carryovers appropriations

4.

Notes from the annual accounts of the Agency that EUR 1 987 011 of the commitment appropriations contracted by the end of 2010 but not yet paid were carried forward to 2011; also notes that the total of carried forward appropriations cancelled in 2010 represents EUR 89 185;

5.

Is concerned that, once again, the Court of Auditors reported 52 % of carryovers from the Agency’s operational budget (Title III); expresses concern that this situation indicates delays in the implementation of the Agency’s activities that are financed from Title III and is at odds with the budgetary principle of annuality; once more, urges the Agency to inform the discharge authority of the action taken by the Agency to address this deficiency;

Procurement procedures

6.

Acknowledges that in 2011 the Agency implemented ex-post controls in order to improve the internal control performance in procurement procedures; urges the Agency nevertheless to, in addition, put in place effective ex-ante verification measures to prevent deficiencies in procurement; and calls on the Court of Auditors to check the effectiveness of those measures;

7.

Is informed by the Agency that it improved transparency both in respect of estimates and of who has responsibility for projects; it strengthened its procurement authorisation at financing-decision and work-programme level; it ensured that the disclosure of exceptions in its AAR was made in a comprehensive manner; and it ensured adequate follow-up of potential irregularities; calls, nevertheless, on the Court of Auditors to assure the discharge authority of the efficiency of these measures;

8.

Sees from its AAR that the Agency had the following outturn of contracts awarded as a result of procurement procedures launched in 2010:

contracts: 52, including 20 service contracts and 9 framework service contracts;

purchase orders: 233 of which 79 were issued under an existing framework service contract;

procurement procedures launched: 36, including 13 open procedures;

Refund from the tax authorities of the host Member State

9.

Notes, once more, with disappointment, that there has been no progress on the previous year concerning the refund of EUR 45 000, which is the amount of VAT paid in advance by the Agency to the tax authorities of the host Member State; urges the Agency, therefore, to inform the discharge authority when this refund is made by the host Member State;

Human resources (HR)

10.

Is concerned that, once again, the deficiencies in staff selection procedures still remain and put at risk the transparency of the procedures; acknowledges that the Court of Auditors reported that neither the thresholds that candidates were required to meet in order to be invited to interview nor those standards necessary in order for them to be put on the reserve list were fixed in advance by the selection boards; urges, therefore, the Agency to address this situation and inform the discharge authority of the action taken; notes also that the measures taken by the Agency until now have been shown to be insufficient in this respect; is of the opinion that the discharge authority should no longer accept a recurrence of this deficiency;

11.

Observes from its annual accounts that the Agency’s staff at the end of year 2010 comprised of 40 Temporary Agents (TA) and 11 Contract Agents (CA); notes also that 4 TA and 2 CA posts were vacant at the end of 2010 and that the recruitment procedures for 3 TA vacant posts had been completed in the fourth quarter of 2010, while the recruitment procedures for CA were launched in early 2011;

12.

Notes, in addition, from the AAR that the priorities of the HR section of the Agency for 2010 were:

recurrent resource planning (Staff Policy Plan);

affirmative measurable measures for staff retention;

services through electronic workflows;

calls, therefore, on the Court of Auditors to confirm to the discharge authority that these priorities were effectively implemented;

Internal control systems

13.

Acknowledges that the Agency is implementing and consolidating its internal procedures and internal controls for all financial circuits as provided for in its Work Programme for 2010;

Internal audit

14.

Acknowledges in addition that the Internal Audit service (IAS) conducted a light-risk assessment for the Agency to update the audit priorities and the IAS audit plan for 2010-2012; notes in particular that the Agency has an enhanced risk in its planning, accounting, budget execution, IT development and management, business continuity, stakeholder relations, external communication, and impact assessment and evaluation; urges the Agency, therefore, to promptly establish the necessary measures to reduce the risks in the above-mentioned subjects;

15.

Notes that in 2010 the IAS carried out an audit of ‘planning: stakeholders and operations objectives’ in order to assess and provide reasonable assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control system, related to the input and needs of stakeholders, and the effectiveness of allocation of resources with respect to priorities in operational activities;

16.

Acknowledges from the Agency that the IAS made 10 recommendations, three of which were rated ‘very important’ and seven as ‘important’; notes that these ‘very important recommendations’ concern:

the development of a map of stakeholders’ expectations;

the involvement of stakeholders in project planning;

the improvement of the management of stakeholders’ relations through a suitable IT tool;

17.

Urges, therefore, the Agency to further:

involve the stakeholders prior/during drafting its provisional Work Programme;

develop a multi-annual framework determining main areas of interest and setting priorities;

reinforce use of stakeholders’ feedback;

calls, in addition, on the Agency to inform the discharge authority of the measures taken in this respect;

18.

Notes that the four very important recommendations related to the 2009 audit on procurement are reported as implemented by the Agency and are currently under IAS review;

19.

Draws attention to its recommendations from previous discharge reports, as set out in the Annex to this resolution;

20.

Refers, in respect of the other observations accompanying its Decision on discharge, which are of a horizontal nature, to its resolution of 10 May 2012 (7) on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.


(1)  OJ C 366, 15.12.2011, p. 15.

(2)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(3)  OJ L 77, 13.3.2004, p. 1.

(4)  OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(5)  OJ L 250, 27.9.2011, p. 186.

(6)  OJ L 64, 12.3.2010, p. 759.

(7)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0164 (see page 388 of this Official Journal).


ANNEX

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RECOMMENDATIONS OVER PAST YEARS

European Network Information Security Agency

2006

2007

2008

2009

Performance

n.a.

n.a.

Calls on the Agency to set out a diachronic analysis of operations carried out in this and the previous years

n.a.

Budgetary and financial management

The implementation of the Agency’s budget did not strictly observe the principles of annuality and specification: in the last quarter of the year there was a concentration of transactions

Weaknesses in the implementation of operational activities: 40 % of commitments and more than 50 % of payments concerning operational activities were executed in November and December

Weaknesses in the procurement procedure (the pre-selection of bids was not justified, the evaluation documents were not signed by the evaluation committee, files were not structured and incomplete)

The ECA found deficiencies in procedures: under-estimation of the budgets of a framework contract (i.e. for a three year framework service contract, needs were underestimated and the available budget for this expenditure for the entire year was used within six months)

Calls on the Commission to examine ways of ensuring that the principle of needs-based cash management is implemented in full

Calls on the Commission to ensure that the Agency’s cash reserves are kept as low as possible on a long-term basis

Concerned that the Court of Auditors reported appropriations carried forward to the following year of 19 % of the total budget of the Agency

Internal audit and human resources

Undocumented internal control procedures — they should ensure transparency and sound financial management

n.a.

Accomplishments in the implementation of all eight recommendations of the Internal Audit Service: i.e. staff policy, renewal of contracts ending in 2008, independence of the selection committees, training services and transparency in the promotion procedure

Deficiencies in staff selection procedure

Calls on the Agency to put in place ex-post controls with the help of a professional supplier

Urges the Agency to put in place an exhaustive physical inventory list & ensure the correctness of the accounting records

Procurement Procedure

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Calls on the Agency to strengthen its internal controls in order to make sure that contracts & procurement procedures are correctly applied

Urges the Agency to:

Improve transparency in estimates & who has responsibility;

strengthen its procurement authorisation at financing decision & work programme level;

ensure that disclosure of exceptions in its Annual Activity Report is made in a comprehensive manner;

endure adequate follow up of potential irregularities;

develop & report an ex-post controls