Coronavirus: EU auditors keep on working while adapting to the crisis
Friday, 20 March 2020
ECA-President-Klaus-Heiner-Lehne, credit: ECA
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) stated today that it has taken the necessary steps to be able to continue providing an effective public audit service in the EU, as far as this is possible in these challenging times.
The EU watchdog writes that the COVID-19 pandemic requires everyone to adapt. This also applies to the EU institutions and bodies.
Starting last week, ECA took precautionary measures and curtailed the presence of people on the premises to a strict minimum, cancelling all professional travel and postponing internal events and activities. All staff – except those in critical functions – now work from home.
Special remote-work procedures have been put in place to allow the decision-making process of the College of ECA Members to continue. On Thursday, ECA President Klaus-Heiner Lehne thanked those who remain on site, allowing their other colleagues to maintain the institution’s core activities with a minimum of disruption.
This might not be the time to criticize the EU institutions that are doing their best in an evolving situation which falls under the competency of the member states. Once the crisis is over, or already now, ECA will have to consider examining any shortcomings on EU level in the response to the coronavirus crisis.
Asked by The Brussels Times about any plans to audit the decision-making process in the EU, a spokesperson replied that ECA plans its work on a multiannual and annual basis. Every year, the ECA establishes a work programme for the coming year, which includes the list of priority audit tasks. The work programme for 2021 will be published this autumn.