Audit, Structural and cohesion funds/ESIF

The European Court of Auditors’ Assessments of Results, Milestones and Targets for RRF and ESIFs

This highly practical course will explain how audit results are correctly assessed. Experts of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will share their extensive experience on all aspects of each stage of the performance audit process: strategic planning, preparation, implementation, reporting and assessing impact.

About this course

What is this course about?

This course is about the ambition of the EU to be more results-oriented in the current programming period 2021-2027 using a framework where performance and results are the keywords.

To do so, this highly practical course informs about the main funding sources in the 2021-2027 period (ESIFs and RRF in particular), their rules, differences, challenges and functioning, and presents as well all key aspects of each stage of the performance audit process.

It includes the unique feature of providing an insight into how the European Court of Auditors plan, prepare and implement their audit assignments, covering real-life audit case studies and sharing experiences of the Court’s teams.

It explains how performance is assessed during the 2021-2027 period, has some unique features and insights with regard to the analysis of costs and benefits, and explains in detail the audit methodologies and some of the tools used, such as benchmarking. The casework also demonstrates the strength of key performance indicators, and how to use them.

The innovative aspect of this course is that, when applying for this course, you will be given the opportunity to choose your preferred case study to work on from a broad range of different audits proposed by the Court’s team and you will be able to discuss your specific cases of measuring results within your organisation with the ECA experts.

What will you be able to do with what you learn?

You will be able to apply the knowledge for developing a results-based analysis system for both ESIF and RRF funds spent within your organisation during the 2021-2027 programming period by using the theory and practical knowledge from this course.

After the presentation of the theory on performance auditing, you will be able to work on a huge variety of real-life case studies in different areas in small working groups with direct involvement and guidance from the key experts from the European Court of Auditors. The variety of choices offered will enable you to choose a topic that is close to what you are working in within your organisation, or to select a topic in which you are particularly interested in. This ensures that you will be well armed to carry out an assessment of results yourself in your institution using the principles of performance auditing.

The course provides for a lot of practical tools and detailed presentations that will help you to implement the principles of how exactly to be able to assess results.

Who will benefit most?

Audit, managing and certifying authorities, intermediate bodies, beneficiaries of EU funds and independent auditors dealing with, or interested in, EU-funded projects and programmes. Also, consulting companies specialised in auditing EU co-funded programmes and projects, and representatives of ministries dealing with, and responsible for, spending public (national and EU) money.

Course venue
The George, Urban Boutique Hotel
Paceville Avenue
St Julians, STJ 3103
Malta

Programme Organiser
Ms Rafaella Giussani
Tel: +31 43 32 96 372
r.giussani@eipa.eu

Fee
The fee includes documentation, refreshments, lunches, a dinner and a sightseeing tour of Valletta, the capital of Malta. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.

Discounts
EIPA member fee
EIPA offers a discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?
Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Early bird discount
The early bird discount is not cumulative with other discounts or promo codes, except for the EIPA member fee.

Meals
Dietary preferences can be indicated on the registration form.

Confirmation
Confirmation of registration will be forwarded to participants on receipt of the completed online registration form.

Payment
Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants.

EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.).

A few days before the start of the course you will receive the log-in details for accessing the course materials. You can log in here.

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Our experts

Portrait photo Iwona
Project leader

Iwona Karwot

EU Structural and Cohesion Funds

Programme

08.30Registration and handing out course material
09.00Opening of the course: introduction to the programme, objectives and methodology
Iwona Karwot, Senior Lecturer and Project Leader, EIPA Barcelona
09.15Tour de table: presentation of participants to encourage networking
Luc T’Joen,  Active Senior, European Court of Auditors.
Part I – Setting the scene: what is a performance audit, and how do we plan one?
09.30Performance audit approach and objectives: what is the ECA; how are results for ESIF and RRF assessed by the ECA in 2021-2027; how are topics selected for audit; what are the different types of audit; overview of the performance audit cycle; the “three E’s” tool (Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness) and the Programme Logic Model (PLM).
Luc T’Joen
10.30Questions and answers
10.45Coffee break
11.15Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF): legal basis; functioning and a comparison with traditional ways of spending EU- funds, including risks and challenges for ministries involved.
Michele Zagordo, Auditor, European Court of Auditors
12.15Questions and answers
12.30The preliminary study and risk assessment, with a focus on the use of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and key performance indicators.
Guido Fara, Auditor, European Court of Auditors
13.30Questions and answers
13.45Joint lunch
15.15Outlining the performance audit plan with a focus on benchmarking as a tool for auditing and visualising performance
Luc T’Joen
16.00Workshop I: WHAT exactly should we audit and HOW should we plan it?
Luc T’Joen, Guido Fara and Michele Zagordo

Several case studies will be put forward (each participant to select at least two: as soon as there are five participants, the group will be formed):

  • A) Airports
  • B) Seaports
  • C) High-speed rail
  • D) Public – Private Partnerships (PPPs)
  • E) Educational expenditure
  • F) Youth employment and social policies

 Each participant will work in a team to practise:

  1. the risk assessment: how to identify the main risks, and assess their likelihood and importance;
  2. the Programme Logic Model;
  3. the choice of one of the three E’s, and developing audit questions.
17.30Plenary session with short group presentations and advice from the trainers
17.45End of the first day and sightseeing tour of Valletta, the capital of Malta
20.15Official dinner
Part II – Implementing a performance audit: real-life findings of ECA audits
09.00Presentation of real-life findings of a selection of transport audits (seaports, maritime transport and airports performance audits), and on ‘pure policy audits’ (e.g. air passenger rights), highlighting specific tools used to measure results
Luc T’Joen
10.30Questions and answers
10.45Coffee break
11.15Presentation of real-life findings of high-speed rail infrastructure and PPP performance audits dealing with road transport and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), highlighting the use of key performance indicators and composite indicators.
Guido Fara
12.45Questions and answers
13.00Joint lunch
14.15Presentation of the real-life findings of performance audits within the social fund sphere, and related to education, Youth Employment and Child poverty
Michele Zagordo
Part III – Reporting on a performance audit
15:45What kind of different products does the ECA have (annual report, special reports, reviews,  opinions, …), and many useful tips on how to draft a good audit report

Drafting a performance audit report:

  • main principles and quality checks;
  • drawing conclusions techniques;
  • making recommendations to improve spending quality.

Luc T’Joen

16.30Workshop II: What report would you publish?

Using the detailed feedback of the morning presentations on the real-life findings on the performance audit developed, participants will continue working in teams, guided by the Court’s experts, on the following:

  1. What would be the main parts and headings of your audit report?
  2. What conclusions would you draw, and in what order?
  3. What recommendations would you make?

Luc T’Joen, Guido Fara and Michele Zagordo

17.30Plenary session with short group presentations, challenging  and advice from the trainers
18.00End of the second day
Part IV –  Impact and follow-up of a performance audit
09.00Examples of impact of performance audits – follow-up of recommendations
Guido Fara
Part V –  Implementing a performance audit in your organisation – RRF work
09.30Recovery and Resilience Facility: past, current and upcoming work of the ECA on the RRF; how to audit and monitor RRF expenditure compared to Cohesion Policy funds: what do you need to know, and what do you need to do?
Michele Zagordo
Part VI – Performance audit in your organisation in the programming period 2021– 2017
10.00How to assess results in your organisation: a discussion on possible practical cases within your organisation, and suggestions from the ECA specialists
Luc T’Joen, Guido Fara and Michele Zagordo
10.30Questions and answers
11.30Coffee break
Part VII – Creative thinking
11.45Workshop III: Creative thinking
Each participant will work in a team to practise a few specific exercises to test their ability to work as a group while thinking about solutions ‘out of the box’.
Luc T’Joen, Guido Fara and Michele Zagordo
12.45Plenary session with short group presentations and advice from the trainers
13.00Closure of the course and issuing of EIPA certificates to participants
Iwona Karwot and Luc T’Joen

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Performance Auditing of ESIFs and RRF by the European Court of Auditors: Problems and Challenges of AAs, MAs and RRF Bodies

Confirmed
18 Sep 2023 - 20 Sep 2023
St Julians (MT)
Register before: 13 Sep 2023

Simultaneous interpretation can be offered. Contact the programme organizer for more information and conditions.

 1.200 per attendee
 1.080 for EIPA members
Registration closed

Discount policy

EIPA offers a discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?

Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Early bird discount

For a limited number of training courses, EIPA offers an early bird discount.

For more information please contact us.

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Register before: 13 Sep 2023
Registration closed