EU agencies in different Member States have adapted well to the unprecedented situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has concluded in its annual audit of EU agencies for the 2020 financial year. The auditors confirm that the agencies’ financial management is in good shape, as in previous years, and has not been extremely affected by the pandemic. There are still shortcomings in some agencies’ internal controls, and weaknesses in public procurement procedures remain the main source of irregularities. The pandemic also has not favoured progress in budgetary management and human resources management. In 2020, some agencies encountered constraints in these areas.
“The pandemic has raised particular challenges in the financial management of EU agencies that operate under different national contexts and health measures”, said Alex Brenninkmeijer, the ECA member responsible for the annual report. “We found, however, that EU agencies have consistently followed their crisis management strategy as supported by the European Commission and in coordination within the EU Agencies Network. They managed to adapt their work to the unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic and to keep their books clean, comparable to what we found in the previous years.”