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Click to edit Master title style 1 Winding-Up Declaration (WuD) How to prepare a reliable winding- up declaration: Commissions views European Commission.

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Presentation on theme: "Click to edit Master title style 1 Winding-Up Declaration (WuD) How to prepare a reliable winding- up declaration: Commissions views European Commission."— Presentation transcript:

1 Click to edit Master title style 1 Winding-Up Declaration (WuD) How to prepare a reliable winding- up declaration: Commissions views European Commission Claude TOURNIER, DG Regional Policy

2 2 Introduction Legal basis Problems of the past period Dos and donts (Commission services view) Conclusions

3 3 Legal basis: Art. 38 1 f) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999, + Art. 32 4 (final balance payment). Art. 15 -17 of Comm. Regulation (EC) No 438/2001 Guidance of the Commission: COM(2006)3424 of 1/08/2006: Guidelines on closure of Assistance (2000-06) from the Structural Funds: esp. section 4.3, and annex 2 Guidance note on closure of INTERREG III programmes 2000-2006 (COCOF Ref. 2008 07/0078/02 )

4 4 What were the main points delaying acceptance of W.u. Declarations (former Art. 8 for the 1994-99 period) or inducing financial corrections? 5 % not reached Spread over the years not respected Representativity criteria not respected (IB, beneficiaries, size and nature of projects) No track of risk analysis followed High error rates not analysed No quantification of impact of irregularities

5 5 main points delaying or … corrections ? (contd.) Art. 8 person designated very (too) late Art. 8 person not taking responsibility: (xx body confirms that….). /No clear opinion. Art. 8 person had no access to (part of) 5 % checks files – including follow-up. Inconsistency between documents Final statements of exp. changed after Winding up inspection, without reconciliation to original amount.

6 6 Before drafting WuD Do'sDONTs Plan the closure process together with all actors: MA, PA, all IBs, (for INTERREG III, JTS) precise time schedule common cut-off dates Plan sufficient resources (time and staff) to cover all IBs and all priorities/measures under: Art. 10 /16 systems audits (follow-up closed, otherwise: qualify your opinion), also ensure proper follow-up to all other audits Accept to certify a "moving target Accept any "grey area", e.g. missing information on some of the IBs Rely on other auditors work without review

7 7 Before drafting WuD Do'sDONTs Art. 10 sample checks (process should be brought to an end, upstream from drafting the WuD) coverage 5 %, more where necessary, spread over the period and representativity criteria follow-up and satisfactory treatment concluded in the vast majority of the relevant cases (recovery/offsetting) analysis as to whether irregularities are systemic or not reconciliation with OLAF database on open and closed irregularity cases of the period Mix management verifications and independent 5 % sample checks Exclude the systemic character of findings if you cannot support such conclusion

8 8 Before drafting WuD Art. 15 Do'sDONTs Assess on time the sufficiency of Art. 4 and Art. 10 work to plan own work, carry out own checks where necessary. For INTERREG III, include time in your planning for translation, coordination and any feed back from "across the border, e.g. through Financial Controllers Group. Leave to the last minute drafting a large number of Art. 15 declarations (e.g. for centralised MS or WuB covering mainstream, different funds and INTERREG programmes).

9 9 Before drafting WuD What to do in difficult cases? In case of important management or control weaknesses or high frequency of irregularities: 1) Plan sufficient time either to: carry out or delegate further audit work, in order to clean the areas affected and replace with legal and regular expenditure, quantify the impact and make corresponding qualification in the declaration (Priorities / measures affected), 2) Conclude on a sound basis on the correctness of the certified statement of expenditure and on the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions.

10 10 When drafting WuD Do'sDONTs Follow the model of Annex III to Reg. 438/2001: 1) introduction: person and intervention 2) scope of work (for INTERREG III, be precise on who does what) attach (long form) report for details ----> observations: 3) limitations, 4) errors and irregularities, systemic? satisfactory treatment? -> 5) Conclusion: assurance on part of or all the intervention Date and signature Don't forget to attach the (long form) report giving the details of the 5 points [1) to 5)] as mentioned here and in the Annex III model. Add tables in annex where necessary. Don't "hide" errors, or wrongly consider them immaterial or non systemic when there is contrary evidence.

11 11 OLAF ECR Final statement of expenditure & application for payment Final implementation report Art. 15 / W. up declaration Long form report Ensure with PA and MA consistency between final financial documents:

12 12 Irreg. Notified to OLAF (only) Ref. to OLAF database + MS reference Identification of measure and operation Amounts awaiting recovery –EU/National/Total/Art. 5.2/Year of initiation recovery proceedings Amounts recovered –EU/National/Total/Year and expenditure declaration reference of the deduction Comments Closure of Structural Funds 2000-2006 Assistance Summary table of irregularities to be attached to the winding-up declaration (based on the information in the debtor's ledger maintained under Art. 8 of Regulation (EC) No 438/2001)

13 13

14 14 Conclusions Plan all activities of all actors well ahead of closure; i.e. now at the latest Be transparent on irregularities and errors, and formulate your analysis and conclusions in a prudent, non-ambiguous manner Ensure with MA and PA consistency of the closure package Give reliable assurance: assurance that you can demonstrate

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