On Friday 19 July 2019, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on the ethical frameworks in place in the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The ECA assessed whether the ethical frameworks applicable to both staff and Members of the three audited institutions were well established. EU auditors examined legal ethical requirements with regard to gifts and entertainment, outside activities or assignments, conflict of interest, post-EU employment and mandate, anti-harassment and whistleblowing. They also analysed staff awareness by means of a survey. It should be noted that, at this stage, the implementation of the ethical frameworks did not form part of the audit.
The report is expected to conclude that, to a large extent, the three audited institutions have established adequate ethical frameworks, with room for improvement. Auditors are expected to identify a number of weaknesses and areas for harmonisation, as well as cases of good practice. The survey is expected to present a rather mixed picture of staff awareness and perception of ethical matters.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
Ethical conduct in public affairs means that civil servants and public office holders should serve the public interest, manage public resources properly, and make fair decisions. It contributes to sounder financial management and increased public trust, which is indispensable if public policies are to succeed.
While there are common provisions applicable to all of the EU institutions, the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council also have their own ethical requirements, in particular for their Members. These specific provisions reflect different roles, responsibilities and risks.
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes or management topics related to specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.