The European Union is the world’s biggest donor, providing more than half of all development aid worldwide. However, in order to cooperate with the EU successfully and to benefit from the funds, beneficiaries have to comply with a multitude of accounting regulations of projects financed by the EU. EU financing instruments such as the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENI) and the Financing instrument for Development Cooperation (DCI) necessitate extensive reporting and a strictly result based management approach on the side of beneficiaries to comply with all rules and prevent the withdrawal of funding.
Advanced hands-on experience, operative know-how and thorough knowledge of procedures and risks are necessary to ensure clear, effective and reliable procurement procedures. While the new EU procurement directives require more flexibility, transparency and fulfilment of high qualitative, environmental, social and innovation standards, many contracting authorities still favour lowest price criterion as the safest and fastest procedure. Yet, many examples prove that the lowest price does not always mean lowest costs and therefore needs to be extended by additional criteria.
The new EU Directives on Public Procurement implicate a number of modifications and bring in some significant changes, particularly to the range of contracts subject to the EU public procurement regime.
In current times of tight public budgets, public administrations must set and achieve their goals in the most effective, efficient and economical way. This new obligation also alters the responsibilities of auditors in the public sector. To ensure that public institutions operate most efficiently and effectively, auditors can no longer focus on their traditional task of financial audits.
Fraud and corruption in the public sector heavily harm the economy, lower investment levels and reduce public finances. Anti-fraud and anti-corruption strategies are often not effective enough and damages done to public institutions and their budgets by fraud and corruption can be enormous ranging from financial loss to reduction of organisational performance, reputation, credibility and public confidence.
The European Union (EU) and its Member States remain the world’s biggest donor, providing more than half of all development aid worldwide. However, in order to cooperate successfully with the EU and to benefit from the external cooperation funds, beneficiaries have to follow a multitude of administrative regulations and fulfil all external audit requirements.
Energy projects are at the centre of attention in the current programming period 2014-2020. Projects in the fields of energy efficiency (EE), renewable energies (RE) and CO2 reduction have a special focus due to their importance in reaching the Europe 2020 goals: Cohesion policy funding will allocate an estimated total of 36 billion EUR to investments in energy efficiency, renewable, smart grids and urban mobility. Horizon 2020 will designate approximately 5.4 billion EUR to research and innovation in “secure, clean and efficient energy” and 840 million EUR to energy efficiency alone.
With the new public procurement directive 2014/24/EU, which has come into effect in 2014, the European Commission has introduced a number of opportunities that allow for more flexibility in the procurement process while upholding the basic requirements of competition, transparency and equal treatment.
Whether internal or external, strategic, financial, operational or reputational risks – these can significantly hinder the work of your authority. In the current economic and financial context the lack of an adequate approach to risk management is an enormous and real threat to the work of any public administration, since nowadays work efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector are more important than ever before. For that reason, it is of extreme importance that public authorities do not rely solely on their intuition in dealing with risks, but use professional formalised risk management as an integral and ongoing part of their general management process.