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The European Commission in co-operation with Transparency International country chapters is organising a series of seminars dedicated to "Anti-fraud and Anti-corruption Measures in European Structural and Investment Funds".
During the period 2014-2020, the EU will invest €325 billion in Europe's regions through the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds, which aim to promote economic growth, job creation, competitiveness and reduce development disparities. As this is a significant amount of money, it is crucial to make sure it is spent properly and achieves the greatest possible impact.
One of the threats to successful delivery of policy results is fraud and corruption, which divert funds to purposes other than those for which they were granted and negatively affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the projects. Apart from financial losses, fraud and corruption have reputational damages and undermine the confidence of citizens in the management of EU funds.
It is widely recognised that preventing the misuse of funds is cheaper and more effective than detecting it and dealing with consequences. New regulations for ESI Funds in 2014-2020 include an explicit requirement for managing authorities to put in place risk-based, effective and proportionate fraud prevention measures.
The seminar addresses the question "What can actually be done to prevent fraud and corruption in ESI funds?". Representatives from EU institutions, national authorities and civil society organisations are invited to share their experience and good practice examples.
OBJECTIVES OF THE SEMINAR
- Reinforce awareness of legal requirements concerning fraud prevention and risk management in relation to the ESI funds;
- Present new guidance and tools developed by the European Commission in this area and consider their applicability in the national context;
- Discuss approaches to fraud and corruption risk assessment and management, with a special focus on public procurement;
- Exchange information on existing practices in the country, lessons learnt, achievements, areas of improvement and future initiatives;
- Share good practice examples from other countries or organisations.
STRUCTURE AND MAIN TOPICS
The seminar consists of the opening and closing plenary sessions and 3 thematic parallel workshops. The workshops will allow participants to ask questions, share views and experience.
OPENING PLENARY SESSION
The opening session will present the general framework for addressing the risk of fraud and corruption in the ESI funds as well as review actions by the Commission, national authorities and civil society in this regard. A representative of a civil society organization will give a third-party perspective on the issue.
PARALLEL WORKSHOP 1. FRAUD RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT
Fraud risks must be assessed before programmes and projects are under way and then regularly monitored. The workshop will present the European Commission’s guidelines on how to identify risks, assess their impact, prioritise mitigating actions and monitor results of anti-fraud measures.
PARALLEL WORKSHOP 2. IDENTIFYING AND MONITORING RISKY PROJECTS - ARACHNE TOOL
Internal and external information about the implementation of the ESI Funds is available in many forms and from a variety of sources. The European Commission has developed an IT application called ARACHNE which brings together this data and helps managing authorities to identify and monitor risky projects. The workshop will introduce ARACHNE and discuss its applicability in the national context.
PARALLEL WORKSHOP 3. MANAGING FRAUD AND CORRUPTION RISKS IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT
Public procurement is widely considered to be one of the activities most vulnerable to fraud and corruption. This workshop will focus on measures that can be put in place in order to minimise the related risks.
CLOSING PLENARY SESSION
The closing session is dedicated to "next steps" once a suspected case of fraud or corruption is identified. The session will discuss procedures for reporting suspected fraud and correcting affected expenditure. Attention will also be paid to the issue of protecting whistleblowers.
- Staff involved in the management and control of ESI funds: managing, co-ordinating, certifying, audit authorities and intermediate bodies
- Representatives of anti-corruption bodies
- Representatives of public procurement bodies
- Representatives of civil society and business
REGISTRATION AND PARTICIPATION
Participation in the seminars is upon invitation. Invited persons have to confirm their participation by registering in advance through the registration form available on the country event’s page.
Participation is free of charge. Costs related to participation in the event cannot be reimbursed.
For seminar agenda and registration, please visit the country-specific website.
Bratislava, March 13th
Praha, March 20th
Sofija, April 9th
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact organisers at email@example.com
If possible, we strongly encourage to submit questions in English as in this case they can be addressed more promptly.