On Monday 11 October 2019, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on the EU information systems supporting border control (Schengen IT systems).
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The auditors examined how well the main IT systems for border control allowed border guards to check individuals entering the Schengen area at authorised border-crossing points – land, seaports and airports. The IT systems related to checks of person and objects, visas and asylum, fingerprints comparison and passenger records. The auditors carried out visits to Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Poland.
The auditors are expected to acknowledge the systems as a strong tool, but call for more focus on timely and complete data. The will make a number of recommendations to the European Commission, including on improving data quality and reducing delays.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
The creation of the Schengen area, which abolished border checks between 22 participating Member States and four other European countries, reinforced the importance of effective control and surveillance of the area’s external borders to prevent crime and terrorism and to control migration. According to the estimates, the EU budget provided over €600 million to set up the IT systems to facilitate the work of border guards.
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.