EP Resolution: Digitalisation of the European Reporting, Monitoring and Audit
On 23 November 2021, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution on the digitalisation of the European reporting, monitoring and audit. The EP points out that currently a bulk of reporting systems exist regarding the funds for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as well as the structural and cohesion policies. This fragmentation of data makes the identification of final beneficiaries extremely difficult, if not impossible, for direct, indirect or shared management Union funds. In general, the current system is detrimental not only to the transparency of EU spending, but also to the oversight of the Union funds.
In order to enhance the protection of the Union budget and the European Union Recovery Instrument against fraud and irregularities, the EP suggests introducing standardised measures to collect, compare and aggregate information and figures on the final recipients and beneficiaries of Union funding, for the purposes of control and audit. To ensure effective controls and audits, it is considered necessary to collect data on those ultimately benefitting, directly or indirectly, from Union funding under shared management and from projects and reforms supported under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, including data on beneficial owners of the recipients of the funding.
The Commission should make available an integrated and interoperable information and monitoring system. This digital system should include the following features:
- A single data-mining and risk-scoring tool;
- Possibility to access, store, aggregate and analyse the aforementioned data on beneficiaries;
- Mandatory application of the system by the Member States;
- Capability for efficient checks on conflicts of interests, irregularities, issues of double funding, and any misuse of the funds;
- Access to the system by OLAF and other Union investigative and control bodies in order to exercise their supervisory and control functions.
The resolution calls on the Commission to initiate the appropriate legislative steps and to develop the proposed digital system.