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)

Administration of the Value Added Tax
Report ID: 35

Objective of audit:

(CZ) The objective of the audit in the Czech Republic was to review the procedure used by financial authorities in administrating value added tax following integration of the Czech Republic into the common internal market of the European Community (hereinafter “EC”), connected with free movement of goods and services, and to review the use of the VIES1, particularly monitoring the exercise of the right to exempt intra-Community deliveries from value added tax.

(D) The objective of the audit was to review the system of intra-Community VAT control with a special focus on administrative cooperation in the field of VAT according to the above mentioned regulations. As a result of this, weaknesses should be reported and recommendations be developed to address the problems stated.

The audits were performed by the Supreme Audit Office, Czech Republic (hereinafter the “SAO”) and by the German Bundesrechnungshof (hereinafter “BRH”) in mutual cooperation on the basis of an agreement concluded between the two audit institutions on June 8, 2006. The cooperation primarily concerned the review of selected commercial transactions between taxpayers from the Czech Republic (hereinafter “CR”) and from the Federal Republic of Germany (hereinafter “Germany”), use of information obtained via international cooperation between tax administrations and comparison of the VAT administration systems in the two countries.

Based on an agreement between the two SAI the parallel audit on the administration of VAT in the CR and Germany was carried out. Besides the main point – exchange of information based on the Council Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003 and the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1925/2004 – the audit covered other topics as for instance the registration of taxpayers, VAT returns and recapitulative statements that are closely linked with it. Additionally, the legal situation in terms of international bus transportation of passengers and the comparison of certain statistical data were part of the audit.

By comparing the systems of administration of VAT in the two countries differences were found in the following areas:

  1. Registration for VAT
  2. International bus transportation of passengers
  3. VAT returns
  4. Recapitulative statements
  5. International exchange of information in the area of VAT
  6. Risk management

As part of cooperation, the two SAI reviewed selected cases of intra-Community transactions processed by tax entities in theCR and Germany. Thirty-one cases of business transactions were reviewed jointly using the legal provisions of the CLO, where there were doubts about their realization, their proper treatment or suspicion of VAT fraud. The SAI found that:

  • In some cases, tax offi ces made use of the information obtained via international exchange and have reassessed taxpayer’s VAT liability. In those cases, taxpayers either unlawfully applied the right for exemption of supplies from VAT, or did not declare acquisition of goods in their VAT return.
  • In some cases, tax offices could not make use of the information obtained, because the information was incomplete or incomprehensible. In other cases, the information could not be used because of differing legal provisions in both Member States.
  • In some cases, the tax administration of another Member State refused to reply to a request for information.
  • Some cases were detected, where taxpayers wrongly declared business transactions in their recapitulative statements. As a result of this, data in VIES were erroneous and therefore the tax administrators had to review those cases.

Joint final report on the audit of environmental monitoring and fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea 2009
Report ID: 44

In 2008 the Supreme Audit Institutions of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden conducted an audit of environmental monitoring and fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

The audit was divided into two parts: Germany, Latvia, Poland, and Denmark participated in the first part which is about environmental monitoring in the Baltic Sea. Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, and Denmark participated in the second part about fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

The overall objective of the first part was to assess whether the signatory states of the Helsinki Convention are complying with the standards of the Cooperative Monitoring in the Baltic Marine Environment (COMBINE) and how the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) will affect national monitoring.

The overall objective of the second part was to conduct a review of fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

Report on the parallel audit on the Performance of the Structural Funds programmes of the EU in the areas of employment and or environment
Report ID: 70

In 2006 the Contact Committee gave a mandate to the Working Group on Structural Funds to continue its reviews of Structural Funds issues and specifically to carry out a focused review on “Performance (output/effectiveness) of the Structural Funds programmes in the areas of employment and/or environment″. The Working Group agreed an Audit Plan which provided a framework for carrying out the review. Each SAI examined their respective national administration’s work on the planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects, measures, sub programmes or programmes (as appropriate) co-financed by the Structural Funds.

The SAIs of Austria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republik, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom participated in the audit. The SAIs of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Lithuania and the ECA were observers. The aim was to identify potential improvements in the Structural Funds’ programmes, especially in their planning and in their administrative management.

The review involved each SAI in an examination of the Structural Funds (objectives 1 and 2) in the areas of employment and/or environment, and concluding on the following:

• if and how national authorities monitored the sustainable success of the funded measures;

• to what extent aid measures (sub programmes, major projects and other projects) provided an effective and sustainable contribution to the strategic goals of the Structural Funds.

The subject of the audit was an important topic of relevance to both the 2000-2006 and 2007- 2013 Structural Funds’ programmes. The audit was concerned with the two Key Areas of the strategic planning and the evaluation of aid measures. Based on the examination of measures from the period 2000-2006 each of the SAIs aimed to conclude on the extent to which Member States have contributed to the realisation of the respective OP’s strategic goals. As the goals of the Structural Funds have continued from the 2000-2006 period to the programme period 2007-2013, the findings from the audit of measures from the period 2000- 2006 have been used to inform the recommendations for the improvement of the new period 2007-2013.

The report sets out good practice identified by individual SAIs, relevant for both programme periods 2000-2006 and 2007-2013. As a general matter of good practice, many of the lessons learned from the 2000-2006 programme period have been incorporated into Member States’ administrative arrangements for 2007-2013.


Rapport sur le contrôle coordonné des subventions fiscales
Report ID: 113

Le VIe Congrès de l'EUROSAI, qui s'est tenu à Bonn du 30 mai au 2 juin 2005, a traité du contrôle des recettes publiques par les Institutions supérieures de contrôle (ISC). L'analyse des documents nationaux soumis par les membres de l'EUROSAI avant le congrès a montré, entre autres, que les connaissances sur l'efficacité des subventions fiscales sont encore insuffisantes, a noté l'étendue et la complexité de la législation fiscale qui peut conduire à des insuffisances et à des exceptions fiscales et a conclu que les ISC devraient élaborer des conclusions plus fiables sur le volume et la réalisation des objectifs de ces subventions fiscales.

Le Congrès a donc préconisé la réalisation d'un audit coordonné des subventions fiscales, ouvert à tous les membres de l'EUROSAI. A cet effet, un groupe de travail a été créé afin de coordonner la planification de l'audit et d'en établir le contenu et les rubriques. Les Institutions supérieures de contrôle d'Allemagne, de Chypre, du Danemark, de France, de Finlande, de Hongrie, d'Islande, d'Italie, de Lettonie, de Lituanie, de Pologne, de Roumanie, de la Fédération de Russie, de Suède, de Suisse, de la République slovaque, du Royaume-Uni et des Pays-Bas (observateur) ont participé à l'audit.

Les objectifs de l'audit coordonné étaient les suivants
- Améliorer le partage des connaissances,
- Améliorer la communication entre les membres de l'EUROSAI dans des domaines d'intérêt particulier,
- Obtenir des informations sur les meilleures pratiques,
- Renforcer les réseaux informels,

Afin d'obtenir des résultats comparables, une liste de contrôle a été rédigée, portant sur toutes les étapes d'une subvention fiscale, depuis la législation jusqu'au rapport, en passant par la mise en œuvre. En même temps, cette liste de contrôle a constitué le cadre non contraignant d'un audit de la transparence et des rapports. En outre, trois sous-groupes de travail ont été créés pour traiter des subventions fiscales spécifiques : l'impôt sur le revenu des sociétés, la taxe sur la valeur ajoutée et le rapport sur la transparence et les subventions.

A l'issue des travaux d'audit, le groupe de travail est arrivé à la conclusion que, concernant les subventions fiscales, des améliorations étaient nécessaires dans les domaines de la législation, de l'évaluation et de l'établissement de rapports dans tous les Etats participants, afin de créer la transparence globale qu'il juge nécessaire tant pour le législateur que pour le grand public.