Europol has carried out an organisational wide self-assessment in the first half of 2008. The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) model was used for this purpose. Currently solutions are being developed to implement the prioritised actions identified for improvement.
As an international public organisation serving the Member States of the EU, Europol is operating in a particular context. Without changing the compulsory elements of the CAF tool, some customisation was therefore necessary to implement the assessment. Listed below are the main influencing factors within this context.
Europol contextual factors:
- Europol is a multi-cultural organisation, with 35 nationalities represented under one roof;
- The organisation is situated in The Hague (The Netherlands) and has around 600 officials; approximately 500 are contractual Europol staff whilst the remainder are seconded liaison officers representing the interests of their home country;
- The majority of the personnel comes from a law enforcement environment, such as police, gendarmerie, customs, state security, etc., whilst a minority of personnel come from a private sector background;
- Europol as an organisation is accountable to a Management Board, composed of senior representatives of the twenty-seven MS with the European Commission as an observer. Three specific control organs supervise the daily management of the organisation: the financial controller, the joint audit committee and the joint supervisory body (data protection matters);
- The organisation is composed of three departments and around twenty units;
- Europol became operational in 1999 and has grown from a product focussed to a more process and result oriented organisation; the management decision to undertake the self-assessment itself demonstrates this progress in organisational maturity. To implement the self-assessment, the standard CAF steps were followed, adapted to the Europol context.
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