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.
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.
In times of austerity, audits of public procurements have gained in importance. However, practitioners from public administrations often find auditing public procurement processes to be one of the most challenging and complex fields to audit. Misspent public money in low quality services and goods can endanger both the financial and operational integrity of an organisation.
During the public procurement process a contracting authority puts a lot of time and effort into identifying reliable business partners, negotiating favourable terms, and ensuring a strong basis for the award decision. Despite the best preparations, however, existing contracts often require amendments.
Providing more than half of all development aid worldwide, the European Union (EU) and its Member States are the world’s biggest donors. In order to successfully cooperate with the EU and to benefit from the external cooperation funds, beneficiaries have to comply with a multitude of accounting regulations for projects financed by the EU.
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.
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 current Programming Period 2014-2020 holds lots of opportunities to fund innovative ideas and projects. The architecture of European Funds and direct grants continues to offer a wide range of funding opportunities in the Member States. However, funding is often not used as effectively as possible or it may be denied due to lack of knowledge or poor planning. Although the numerous programmes and initiatives have different features, the development and implementation of projects in practice follow common rules.
The European Union (EU) and its Member States are the world’s biggest donors, providing more than half of all development and humanitarian 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.