The FINANCIAL -- EASO takes the findings of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) seriously and continues to ensure that improvements are implemented swiftly. EASO also welcomes the acknowledgment by ECA of the concrete and positive steps taken to improve the Agency’s governance, which was recognised by the European Parliament in September 2019.
A Governance Action Plan is being implemented to restore trust in the Agency, to reinforce the internal governance framework and internal control, and to rebuild internal capacity. To date, most of the key measures foreseen in the plan have been completed (48 actions out of 61), including a long-term recruitment plan, through which the total staff count of the Agency has increased to 308 to date.
The Governance Action Plan also puts emphasis on procurement and contract management. A number of measures have been implemented to guarantee full compliance with procurement rules and sound financial management. Concerning the ECA finding on the irregularity of one procurement procedure in 2018, EASO will take corrective action while ensuring business continuity.
EASO is currently implementing four Operating Plans in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta, in 88 locations with more than 900 field workers including EASO staff, deployed Member State experts, temporary agency workers and interpreters operating under the EASO banner. EASO foresees its continued operational presence in these countries as well as possibly scaling up based on needs assessments conducted with the authorities of each requesting Member State. Due to the insufficient numbers of national experts deployed by Member States (16%), it has been a challenge for the Agency to deliver the requested support, which required the use of alternative solutions including the services of temporary agency workers to meet the needs.
The Agency, under its new management, is firmly committed to continue supporting Member States in the implementation of the Common European Asylum System, fostering practical cooperation, and providing operational and technical assistance.