EUROSAI. Magazine N24 - 2018

Magazine No. 24 - 2018 61 Information on EU to the Commission. Had the national authorities made proper use of all the information at their disposal, the estimated level of error for this chapter would have been 0.9 percentage points lower. Direct payments were free from material error: agricultural land surface is the main variable for direct payments. Continuous improvements in control systems helped to keep the level of error in 2017 below the 2 % materiality threshold. The level of error remains high in the spending areas of rural development, market measures, the environment, climate action and fisheries. The main sources of error were non-compliance with eligibility conditions, the provision of inaccurate information on areas or animal numbers and beneficiaries’ non- compliance with agri-environmental commitments. The spending area of Security and citizenship groups various policies whose common objective is to strengthen the concept of EU citizenship by creating an area of freedom, justice and security without internal frontiers. For 2017, expenditure of €2.7 billion was subject to audit in this area. This amount covered border protection, immigration and asylum policy, justice and home affairs, public health, consumer protection, culture, youth, information and dialogue with citizens. It is a relatively small but increasing share of the EU budget (approximately 2 % in 2017). A significant share of spending is done through 12 decentralised agencies on which the ECA reports separately. Given the size of this sample, the ECA was not in a position to calculate a representative error rate for Security and citizenship. The spending area of Global Europe covers ex- penditure in the fields of foreign policy, support for EU candidate and potential candidate countries and development assistance and humanitarian aid pro- vided to developing and neighbouring countries (with the exception of the European Development Funds). For 2017, expenditure of €8.2 billion was subject to audit in this area, with spending disbursed across more than 150 countries. Spending is implemented either directly by a number of directorates-general at the Commission (either from their headquarters in Brussels or through EU delegations in recipient countries), or indirectly by beneficiary countries or international organisations, using a broad range of cooperation instruments and delivery methods. Given the small size of the sample, the ECA was not in a position to calculate a representative error rate for Global Europe. Administration covered the administrative expenditure of the EU’s institutions and other bodies (the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions, the European Ombudsman, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European External Action Service). In 2017, expenditure of €9.7 billion by the EU institutions and other bodies was subject to audit. This amount comprised spending on human resources (about 60 % of the total), buildings, equipment, energy, communications and information technology. The estimated level of error was 0.5 % (2016: 0.2 %) and therefore the ECA concluded that this spending was not affected by material error. The results of the audits of the EU agencies and other decentralised bodies are reported in a consolidated annual report (published separately, together with a summary of the results). The ECA’s own financial © European Union 2019 - Source : EP