Budget support is a form of EU aid which involves transferring money to
the national treasury of a partner country, subject to that country’s
compliance with agreed conditions for payment. Budget support payments
are made in the form of either fixed or variable tranches. The amounts paid
from variable tranches depend on the performance achieved by partner
countries, which is measured by pre-defined performance indicators. We
examined whether the Commission used relevant and reliable performance
data for disbursing budget support variable tranches. We conclude that one
third of the performance indicators reviewed had design weaknesses,
which allowed for different interpretations as to whether targets had been
achieved. Furthermore, the Commission’s assessment of whether variable
tranche indicators had been met was not always reliable. We make a
number of recommendations to improve the formulation of indicators,
increase the use of outcome indicators and improve the verification of the
performance data used to disburse variable tranches.
ECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second subparagraph, TFEU.