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

In the current programming period 2021-2027, very significant amounts of EU money are being invested to support specific policies, projects and programmes. In addition to the traditional European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) and other directly managed EU-funds, the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) applies, although with different rules and principles.

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.

This course will also review the rules on the RRF in depth. We will explain its legal base, its functioning and effects. The advantages of the RRF as an additional funding framework, but also the risks and the challenges of having these different funding tools available at the same time, will be presented and discussed.

This course will also review already conducted ECA audits, currently ongoing ones and the upcoming ECA audit work on the RRF. We will also discuss the current state of play, impacts of the amendments of the Recovery Plans (integrated revisions related to RePowerEU), regularity of RRF payments, reversal of satisfactorily fulfilled milestones and targets; and whether RRF so far has led to the administrative simplification that the Member States hoped for.

Many showcases in different fields will be presented, whether or not linked to a particular financial impact. The presentations will also focus on the importance of the analysis of costs and benefits (CBA), and explain some of the audit methodologies and tools used, such as benchmarking and key performance indicators.

The programme also includes several practical workshops where participants will develop together their knowledge and experience on a selection of topics, out of which they will be able to choose their preferred one. Moreover, it also allow for the sharing of their own experience on performance measuring, while discussing any challenges in their organisations with a view to obtain feedback from the ECA experts on how results could best be measured. A final exercise will promote “out of the box” thinking, when setting up a results-oriented audit successfully.

What will you learn:

Participants will increase and improve their practical knowledge on measuring results, and will also be able to apply this knowledge to the development of a results-based analysis system within their organisations for the 2021–2027 programming period.

Course methodology

After the presentations, participants will be able to choose the topic they prefer to work on beforehand from a large selection of real-life case studies proposed. The participants will work in small groups with direct involvement and guidance from the ECAs experts. This way, the participants will learn how to carry out a performance audit yourself in your institution.

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

Course venue
European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)
O.L. Vrouweplein 22
6211 HE, Maastricht
the Netherlands

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

Fee
The fee includes documentation, refreshments, lunches, and a dinner. 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.

Loyalty coupon
As a token of appreciation we offer all our participants a loyalty coupon for one of our future courses. The offer can be shared with colleagues and relevant networks. The coupon will expire one year after its release. This discount is not cumulative with other discounts, except for the EIPA member fee.

Meals
Dietary preferences can be indicated on the registration form.

Hotel reservations
EIPA has special price arrangements with a number of hotels. The hotels are within walking distance from EIPA. If you wish to take advantage of this option, please click on the hotel name to book directly using the link. Payment is to be made directly and personally to the hotel upon checking out.

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

Day 1
08.30Registration of participants and distribution of seminar materials.
09.00Opening of the Seminar: Introduction to the Programme, Objectives and Methodology
Iwona Karwot, Senior Lecturer and Project Leader, EIPA
09.15Tour de table: Presentation of the Trainers and Participants to encourage networking
Luc T’Joen, Active Senior, European Court of Auditors and Iwona Karwot
Part I – Setting the scene: what is a performance audit, and how do we do this?
09.30Performance Audit Approach and Objectives:
The “WHAT”: what is the ECA; what are the different types of audit; how are topics selected for a performance audit; the “three E’s” (Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness); what are audit questions.
Luc T’Joen
11.00Questions and Answers
11.30Coffee Break
12.00The “HOW”: the preliminary study with a risk assessment; the Programme Logic Model (PLM); the audit plan with the Evidence Collection Plan (ECP), and a focus on the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Luc T’Joen
13.00Questions and Answers
13.30Joint lunch
15.00Irina Yotova, Auditor – Directorate of Chamber 5 – Financing and administering the Union, European Court of Auditors
16.00Questions and Answers
16.30Workshop I: Planning an audit on results in ESIF and RRF: WHAT and HOW to audit?
Luc T’Joen and Irina Yotova
Several case studies have been developed. Participants can indicate their preference; as soon as there are five participants, the group can work as an audit team on:

A)      Airports

B)       Seaports

C)       High-speed rail

D)      Mega cross-border transport Infrastructures

E)       Air passenger rights in times of COVID

Each participant will be able to practice:

  1. The WHAT: including the risk assessment (how to identify the main risks and assess their likelihood and importance) and the Programme Logic Model;
  2. The choice of one of the three E’s, and developing audit questions;
  3. The HOW: how to plan the audit, developing an Evidence Collection Plan.
17.30Plenary session with short group presentations and advice from the trainers
18.00End of the first day and sightseeing tour of Maastricht
20.15Official dinner
DAY 2
Part II – Showcasing of real-life findings of ECA performance audits and their lessons learned
09.00Presentation of real-life findings of a selection of important infrastructure audits in the transport domain (seaports, maritime transport, airports and high-speed rail), highlighting the use of benchmarking and composite indicators.
Luc T’Joen
10.30Questions and Answers
10.45Coffee Break
11.15Presentation of real-life findings of a selection of recent interesting performance audits (mega cross-border transport infrastructure and its global benchmarking, multimodal infrastructures, road safety, batteries and air passenger rights).
Luc T’Joen
12.45Questions and Answers
13.00Joint Lunch
15.00On trend: the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The work of the ECA on the RRF: what has been done; what is upcoming and when, and what are the key lessons so far.

This session will include among others:

  • current state of play;
  • impacts of the amendments of the Plans (integrated revisions related to RePowerEU);
  • issues affecting the regularity of RRF payments (from the ECA’s perspective);
  • reversal of satisfactorily fulfilled milestones and targets;
  • has RRF so far led to the administrative simplification that the Member States had hoped for?

Irina Yotova

16.00Questions and Answers
Part III – Reporting on a performance audit
16.15The different reporting products of the ECA (annual report, special reports, reviews, opinions, etc.) explained and useful tips on how to draft a good audit report

  • Drawing conclusions techniques
  • Main principles of a performance audit report
  • Internal quality checks
  • 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 title, the main parts and key points of your audit report?
  2. What conclusions would you draw, and in what order?
  3. What recommendations would you make?

Luc T’Joen and Irina Yotova

17.30Plenary session with short group presentations, challenging and advice from the trainers
18.00End of the second day
DAY 3
Part IV – Impact and follow-up of a performance audit
09.00Examples of impact of performance audits – follow-up of recommendations
Luc T’Joen
Part V – Implementing a performance audit in your organisation in the programming period 2021-2017
09.30How to implement a performance audit in your organisation: a discussion on practical cases within your organisation.
In this session, participants may share their own experiences on measuring audit results, including the specifics of their  organisation/country, so as to receive professional advice from the ECA experts
Luc T’Joen and Irina Yotova
10.30Questions and Answers
10.45Coffee Break
 Part VI – Creative thinking
11.15Workshop III: Creative thinking
Each participant will work in a team to practice a few specific exercises to test their ability to work as a group while thinking about ‘out of the box’ solutions
Luc T’Joen, Irina Yotova and Iwona Karwot
12.45Plenary session with short group presentations and advice from the trainers
13.00Closure of Seminar and distribution of EIPA Certificates to the Participants
Iwona Karwot and Luc T’Joen

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The European Court of Auditors’ Assessments of Results, Milestones and Targets for RRF and ESIFs: Challenges for AAs, MAs and RRF Bodies

29 May 2024 - 31 May 2024
Maastricht (NL)
Register before: 14 May 2024

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

 1.365 per attendee
 1.160 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: 14 May 2024
Registration closed