EU agencies should tighten their rules and controls to minimise the risk that managers and other senior staff who leave may take up private-sector jobs that could lead them into conflicts of interest and put the integrity of the EU institutions at risk, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has said in its annual report on the EU agencies, published today. At the same time, the EU’s financial watchdog confirmed that the agencies’ bookkeeping was trustworthy by signing off their 2021 accounts. The auditors also gave all 44 agencies a pass mark on how they collect income for their operations, and all but one agency obtained a clean bill of health on spending, despite persistent public procurement problems across most agencies.
“We are once again able to give the EU’s agencies positive, clean audit opinions on their accounts and revenue, while their spending is generally up to the mark,” said Rimantas Šadžius, the ECA member leading the audit. “But legislators and agencies must heed our red-flag warning and handle the potential revolving doors more stringently in order to prevent conflicts of interest and avoid reputational damage to themselves and to the EU as a whole.”