Annual report of the Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2018, together with the institutions’ replies https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/annualreports-2018/annualreports-2018_EN.pdf
1. The European Court of Auditors (“ECA”) has published its annual report on the implementation of the EU budget in 2018. This report informs the process through which the European Parliament (“EP”) decides, on advice from the Council, whether to sign off the EU budget accounts for 2018.
2. The ECA’s report assesses the reliability and accuracy of the EU budget accounts and how well the underlying transactions comply with the relevant regulations (known as the ‘regularity’ of the transactions). It also looks at the performance of the EU budget and results achieved by EU spending. The report contains the ECA’s targeted recommendations to address identified errors and weaknesses in schemes and audit systems, and the Commission’s responses to those recommendations.
Chapter 1: Statement of Assurance and supporting information
3. The report provides a Statement of Assurance – an informed judgement on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Commission’s financial management of the EU budget - which is based on the ECA’s assessment of the accuracy of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions.
4. The report concludes that the EU accounts are accurately represent the financial position of the EU, the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year. The report also finds that revenue underlying the accounts was legal and regular.
5. The ECA found that there continued to be a material level of error in spending. However, they report that this was not pervasive. The ECA estimated that the error rate for expenditure for the 2018 budget is 2.6%, a small increase from the 2.4% error rate for the 2017 budget. They noted that material error was mainly confined to cost reimbursements (51% of the audited expenditure).