Report on discharge in respect of the implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2011, Section II – European Council and Council
(COM(2012)0436 – C7-0226/2012 – 2012/2169(DEC))
This report by Andrea ČEŠKOVÁ (ECR, CZ) was written for and adopted by the Committee on Budgets. The author sought the opinion - but none was forthcoming - from the following committees:
Culture and Education
Agriculture and Rural Development
Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Employment and Social Affairs
Industry, Research and Energy
Economic and Monetary Affairs
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Internal Market and Consumer Protection
Transport and Tourism
Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
The report reviews the discharge being sought in respect of the implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2011, Section II – European Council and Council
The report notes with some satisfaction that the Court of Auditors concluded that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2011, for administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies, were free from material error. Some of the key points highlighted in the report include:
Weaknesses in the application of selection and award criteria in the procurement of cleaning services and equipment, including clothing and shoes.
In 2011, the European Council and the Council had available commitment appropriations of appx. EUR 506 million with a utilisation rate of 90% which is lower than 2010. There is concern that the underspend rate has risen and continues to be high; it needs to be improved and suggests the development of key performance indicators within the most critical areas, such as delegations' travel, logistics and interpretation.
Parliament needs to review the complete annual activity report, including a comprehensive overview of all the human resources broken down by category, grade, gender, nationality and vocational training.
Concern that internal audit has highlighted weaknesses in the financial management and the procurement procedures in relation to IT consultant contracts and security contracts.
The need for the Council to provide a thorough explanation of the costs associated with the purchase of the Résidence Palace building.
DIsmay that the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) was not anticipated in the 2011 budget.
Regret that the Council continues to refuse to answer Parliament's questions on Budgetary Control and recalls the lack of cooperation exhibited by the Council that caused such difficulties in the discharge procedures for the financial years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
As such, the European Parliament decided to postpone granting the Secretary-General of the Council discharge in respect of the implementation of the European Council's and the Council's budget for the financial year 2011.
The European Parliament voted to postpone granting discharge on 17th April 2013 with 570 for, 5 against, with 10 abstentions.
To read the report click here
Alternatively visit the website at www.europarl.europa.eu