Evaluation of the law on grants for the Environment abroad
Report ID: 1

Wahrnehmungsbericht des Rechnungshofes

Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt für Wirtschaft und Technik Gesellschaft mbH


Die Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt für Wirtschaft und Technik Gesellschaft mbH (Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt) wurde 1994 als Trägergesellschaft der Fachhochschullehrgänge in Wiener Neustadt unter der Firmenbezeichnung Wiener Neustädter Bildungs– und Forschungsgesellschaft mbH gegründet. Seit der Aufnahme des Studienbetriebes mit 169 Studierenden in zwei Studiengängen entwickelte sich die Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt zur größten österreichischen Fachhochschule mit über 1 600 Studierenden. Seit Herbst 2002 werden insgesamt sieben Studiengänge in Wiener Neustadt und in zwei Filialen (Wieselburg, Tulln) angeboten.

Das von der Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt verfolgte Filialkonzept erschien dem RH grundsätzlich berechtigt. Einer Aufstockung der Studienplätze in stark nachgefragten Studiengängen sollte gegenüber der Entwicklung weiterer Studiengänge mit starker Spezialisierung der Vorrang gegeben werden.

Die Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt verfügte über gute, auf die gesetzlichen Rahmenbedingungen und die Vorgaben der Gesellschafter abgestimmte Planungsdokumente. Die selbst gesteckten und in den Studiengangsanträgen an den Fachhochschulrat formulierten Ziele konnten erreicht werden.

Sowohl die für die bereits erfolgte Verlängerung von zwei Studiengängen erforderliche Evaluierung als auch die von der Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt selbst regelmäßig vorgenommenen Befragungen von Studenten, Absolventen und Partnerfirmen erbrachten sehr gute Ergebnisse.

Die Finanzierung der Gesellschaft erfolgte zu mehr als 80 % aus der pauschalierten Studienplatzabgeltung des Bundes. Für technische Studiengänge waren die Normkosten zu niedrig angesetzt.

Marine Pollution from ships
Report ID: 21

Cyprus has over the years developed into a major maritime centre and today has the 6th largest 

merchant fleet in the world in tonnage terms. During the last few years it has taken steps to develop

its  infrastructure and improve its maritime administration in an effort to raise the standards of Cyprus 

registered ships and enhance the image of the Cyprus flag. It has signed and ratified all relevant 

international conventions and agreements and has voted national laws and regulations to enable their implementation . At the centre of this effort is the improvement of safety on board Cyprus registered ships and the protection of the marine environment.

Pollution Prevention through ship surveys

Flag State Control plays a major part in the prevention of pollution to the environment. Through the

regular inspection of the ships it is ensured that the requirements of the MARPOL Convention are

properly adhered to. The Department of Merchant Shipping has made significant improvement in this

respect during the last few  years and it has increased the number of inspections both by the

Department surveyors and the appointed surveyors overseas. Further improvement is expected as

more surveyors will be employed both in Cyprus and overseas during the next couple of years.

Control will also be enhanced as a result of the computerisation of the Department, currently under

way, which will enable the targeting of high risk ships for inspection.

The criteria for registration of ships under the Cyprus flag have been revised as from 1.1.2000 with more effective control being exercised on overage ships. An important development regarding the safe operation of the ships, which is also beneficial from the point of view of the protection of the environment, is the implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code as from 1998. Cyprus has implemented the Code for most ships (tankers, bulk carriers, passenger ships)

in 1998 and will implement it for all the fleet in July 2002. On the negative side it must be noted that all ship inspections by the Department surveyors have been suspended since February 2001 due to industrial action . Even though most of the gap is filled by the overseas inspectors the government must take all the necessary measures to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.

Port State Control of foreign visiting ships by the DMS is at an acceptable level and meets the requirements of the Mediterranean Memorandum of Understanding which states that at least 15% of the ships are inspected. By comparison however inspection rates by the maritime authorities in advanced  countries (U.S. Coast Guard, Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU) are much higher.

Inspections of Cyprus registered ships by foreign Authorities show a steady improvement and detention rates have decreased for the last three years. This is a direct result of the steps taken to upgrade Flag State Control. However, the Cyprus flag is still on the target list of the U.S. Coast Guard  and the Paris MoU with detention rates  marginally above average. The downward trend though leaves some optimism that the Cyprus flag will be taken off the target lists soon.

Value Added Tax and Exercise Taxes
Report ID: 24

The present document provides information on the execution and results of parallel audits conducted by the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic and the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic, which were both focused on the area of administration of value-added tax and excise taxes.

The cooperation between the two supreme audit institutions of the two countries is based on the Agreement on Audit Cooperation, signed in February 2004.

The topic of the parallel audits was chosen with a view to the fact that indirect taxes constitute very substantial revenue of the state budgets of both countries. The value-added tax structure, which allows for a refund of an excessive tax deduction, provides room for tax frauds and tax evasion. High excise tax rates, particularly those applying to tobacco and tobacco products, spirits and mineral oils, bring high profits to those who can dodge them by selling the commodities listed above illegally.

The Czech and Slovak Supreme Audit Office’s have established, inter alia, the following facts:

  • Business transactions were not declared in the same way in both countries, which made corresponding exports and imports difficult to identify in the Czech and Slovak Customs Databases,
  • Data entry errors in the above-mentioned customs databases made it impossible to identify some import and export transactions,
  • Some exports from the Czech Republic failed to find and verify appropriate matching imports in the Slovak Repub1ic. Insofar as these cases are concerned, there exists a justified suspicion of fictitious exports for the purpose of illegally claiming a value-added tax return.
  • Taxpaying entities failed to comply with certain Iegal obligations pertaining to reporting of exports and imports in value-added tax retum forms,
  • Shortfalls and deficiencies were identified in the administration of value-added tax and excise taxes by Tax Offices and in their coordination with customs offices.

Joint final report on the second audit of implementation of provisions of the convention on the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea area (the Helsinki Convention): Pollution from ships in the Baltic Sea 2005
Report ID: 43

In 2004 the Supreme Audit Institutions in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and
Russia conducted an audit on preparedness to combat pollution from ships in the Baltic Sea. The audit was performed as a performance and compliance audit of the implementation of the articles concerning pollution from ships in the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (the Helsinki Convention), including relevant annexes and recommendations. The relevant articles in the Helsinki Convention are:

• Article 8 – Prevention of pollution from ships (including annex IV and the HELCOM Copenhagen Declaration)
• Article 13 – Notification and consultation on pollution incidents
• Article 14 – Cooperation in combating marine pollution (including annex VII)
• Article 16 – Reporting and exchange of information.

The objectives of the audit were to assess whether the national authorities in the respective countries comply with the provisions of these articles, including relevant annexes and recommendations.

Report on parallel audit on the processes of identifying reporting and following-up on irregularities
Report ID: 69

In total the 2000-2006 Structural Funds programme involved an expenditure of 141,5 billion Euro (without Community initiatives, innovative measures and technical assistance) to the nine Member States whose SAIs carried out the parallel audit.

The significance of the value of Structural Funds to all Member States prompted the Contact Committee in 2000 to establish a Working Group to carry out an exploratory survey of EU structural funds. A questionnaire was sent to the SAIs to gain an understanding of how these funds were controlled and managed by the various countries and to identify possible risk areas. Work was planned to coincide with the 2000-2006 funding cycle and revision of the regulations covering the funds.

The Working Group reported its findings from this work to the Contact Committee in November 2002 and recommended to conduct  a parallel audit aimed to identify parts of the controls that need to be improved, and provide an overview of best practice. It was determined that the best way to achieve this was to focus the parallel audit on the application of the regulations, to ensure that all Member States establish appropriate audit trails for transactions and implement independent checks on 5% of transactions. The results of the audit would be used not only for the Member States, but also for the new Member States.

Each SAI produced a Country Report which has been consolidated to provide an overall conclusion, identify good practice, weaknesses and recommendations arising from the work. Issues raised byindividual SAIs are annotated under each Objective where appropriate. The Working Group have then produced the combined report summarising the key findings and recommendations from those Country.

The audit approach was enhanced through the participation of the European Court of Auditors (ECA), in particular, towards the end of the report drafting process the ECA benchmarked the draft report findings and recommendations against those reported by the ECA. The report contains recommendations for  audit trails and 5% checks as well as for  future parallel audits.

Source: https://www.eca.europa.eu/sites/cc/Lists/CCDocuments/1959819/1959819_EN.PDF