EU-Funds (EFRE): simplification of provisions (Working Group on the Structural Funds)
Report ID: 15


Ziel der Überprüfung im BKA sowie in den Ländern Burgenland, Salzburg und Vorarlberg war es, insbesondere zu beurteilen, in welchem Ausmaß unter den geltenden Rahmenbedingungen ausgewählte, in den Jahren 2008 bis 2011 in Kraft getretene EU–Maßnahmen zur vereinfachten Abwicklung von EU–Förderungen im Rahmen des Europäischen Fonds für Regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) in Österreich umgesetzt und ob die von der EU angestrebten Vereinfachungen auch auf Ebene der Förderungsempfänger wirksam wurden.

Intra-Community VAT fraud
Report ID: 16

In collaboration with the Dutch SAI (Algemeen Rekenkamer) and the German SAI (Bundesrechnungshof), the Belgian Court examined whether tax authorities are sufficiently resourced to combat VAT carousel fraud. The report to the federal Parliament with the findings for Belgium reveals that the department rightly prioritize fraud prevention and fraud detection. As a matter of fact it is very difficult to collect evaded VAT, VAT arrears and penalties when fraud carousels are involved. As far as prevention is concerned, the tax department performs an adequate review before assigning a VAT number. Tax authorities are insufficiently resourced to prevent malafide persons from infiltrating existing companies. The opportunities for international information exchanges are not used in an optimal way. The Eurocanet network created by Belgium allows for quick and targeted information exchanges between specialized tax authorities, but loses some of its impact because not all European Member States participate equally.

Intra-Community VAT fraud. Joint follow-up report
Report ID: 17

In 2009, the courts of the Netherlands (Algemene Rekenkamer), Germany (Bundesrechnungshof) and Belgium examined the treatment of intra-Community VAT fraud. As part of this audit, which was carried out in parallel with the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, the central question raised was whether the tax authorities had sufficient resources to deal with this fraud. In the first part, the audit examines the measures available to the authorities to prevent malicious people from setting up fraud (prevention) systems. The audit then examines the available measures to detect and dismantle existing fraud schemes (detection). Finally, it analyzes whether the infringements found (and how many) have led to an effective recovery of the amounts of VAT due, arrears and fines (repression).

As part of a follow-up audit carried out in 2011-2012, the three courts examined the efforts made by the national administrations to implement the recommendations made in 2009.

The Court of Auditors acknowledges that the administration has taken initiatives to implement a number of recommendations. Thus, companies that file only "nil" statements are now being investigated more quickly.

In the area of ​​fraud prevention, efforts are still needed to make it possible to use the background information when assigning a VAT number. The Court also encourages the administration to intensify its efforts within the Benelux to formulate proposals for a uniform European policy on registration and cancellation.

Quality review in higher education in the Netherlands and in Belgium (Flanders)
Report ID: 18

The Dutch and Belgian Court of Audit found in a joint examination that quality review in higher education both in the Netherlands and in Belgium is highly developed. However, the functioning of quality assurance in educational institutions themselves could be improved in several aspects.

The process of accreditation by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation organisation (NVAO) has been duly set up. The appraisal contained in inspection reports remains, however, often too procedural by nature and the evidenced-based approach is not always sufficiently elaborated. However, the NVAO is left to base its accreditation decision on these inspection reports.

(Report in Flemish)

Quality review in higher education in the Netherlands and in Belgium. Joint follow-up report
Report ID: 19

The innovations in the quality education system in higher education introduced in the Netherlands and Flanders give the opportunity to focus more attention on the content aspects of the education quality and at the final level of students. However, the review reports, which assess a program, are not always appropriate in terms of compliance and substantiation of judgments. This implies that the poorly scoring aspects of a program remain invisible. The accreditation organization NVAO can easily find additional information to be more critical. However, the differences in quality surveillance between Flanders and the Netherlands are increasing. This sets the Dutch Court of Auditors and the Belgian Court of Auditors in the joint research report Quality Assurance in Higher Education in the Netherlands and Flanders, published on September 12, 2013. This is a follow-up to similar joint research from 2008.

(Report in Flemish)