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)

Joint report on parallel audit of Procurement of public building and corruption prevention
Report ID: 41

In January 2011, the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic (Czech SAI - NKÚ) and the Bundesrechnungshof of Germany (German SAI - BRH) agreed to conduct parallel audits both of the EU-wide awarding of building contracts and of corruption prevention.

The audit focused on the application of EU procurement law as transposed into national law and corruption prevention of contracts for building construction and road construction and/or transport infrastructure. The audit also covered contract awards below the EU thresholds with a view to corruption prevention.

The working groups of the two SAIs compared the legal frameworks and administrative regulations in the Czech Republic and in Germany and the results of their parallel audits which they conducted specifically in the fields of building construction and road construction.

The two SAIs´ audit findings are summarised in the joint report.

SOURCE: https://www.nku.cz/en/publications-ocuments/other-publications/procurement-of-public-building-and-corruption-prevention---joint-report-on-parallel-audit-nku-and-brh-id6067/

Audit of the CO2 emissions trading systems
Report ID: 47

The Nordic–Baltic–Polish cooperative audit on emissions trading was performed in 2012 and involved the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden.1 The report builds on 13 individual national audit reports.

The aim of the cooperative audit was to assess:

• the effectiveness of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in reducing national greenhouse gas emissions or fostering technology development
• the proper functioning of the EU ETS: national registries, greenhouse gas emissions permits and emissions reporting
• the implementation and administration of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) programmes.

There are clear indications from the cooperative audit that the emissions limitation targets adopted in the Kyoto Protocol or through the EU Burden Sharing Agreement are likely to be met in all seven countries by the end of the first Kyoto Protocol commitment period (end of 2012). The countries have implemented the EU ETS in line with the current EU legislation and the provisions under the UNFCCC. However, the effectiveness of the system in reducing emissions is a major challenge. For the Nordic countries the EU ETS provided little incentive for long-term reductions in CO2 emissions as allowance prices have been low due to a general surplus of allowances in the system during the period 2008–2012. Taking into account the slower economic
growth than expected, emissions trading did not provide a strong market mechanism that has raised the costs of emissions related to production and given a competitive advantage to cleaner production.

The audits for Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have shown that emissions have increased at a slower pace than economic growth. However, in this audit it has not been possible to measure whether this can be attributed to the effectiveness of the EU ETS.

Source: https://www.nik.gov.pl/plik/id,4464,vp,5704.pdf

Report on public procurement for building works in the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany
Report ID: 63

The procurement of goods and services by public-sector contracting agencies is of great importance both for the government and for the business community. The government’s task is to use public resources as efficiently and economically as possible and to ensure fair and regulated competition.

In the European Union (EU), public contract awarding is key to the success of the single economic area. In order to ensure a largely unrestricted competition in the field of crossborder procurement, awarding authorities also have to meet certain requirements imposed by the EU in awarding contracts where the contract value exceeds certain thresholds. To this end, the EU Member States have to transpose EU
procurement law into their national law and apply it. This has already happened both in the Czech Republic and in Germany. For contracts worth less than the EU thresholds, regulating public contract awarding procedures remains a matter for the individual countries.
Moreover, the contract award procedure is, as a rule, vulnerable to corruption. In view of the generally high damage potential, awarding authorities are obliged to take reasonable action to fight and to rule out corruption and abusive favouritism in their contract award procedures (corruption prevention).

Enforcement of the European Waste Shipment Regulation
Report ID: 132

This cooperative audit on the enforcement of the European Waste Shipment Regulation is based on eight individual national audit reports, carried out by the supreme audit institutions of Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands, Norway and Slovenia. The SAI of the Netherlands coordinated the compilation of the audit findings. The coordinated audit was launched in response to a decision taken by the Contact

Committee of Heads of EU SAIs and was conducted in close collaboration with the EUROSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing.

About the audit

The objective of this coordinated audit is to improve the enforcement of the EWSR by providing information on the participating countries’ enforcement strategies and performances (in terms of results and the achievement of the desired effect). To achieve this objective, the national audits sought to answer the following questions:

• To what extent do the relevant authorities comply with the requirements arising from the EWSR?

• How do the authorities enforce the EWSR?

• What is known about the effectiveness of the enforcement measures?

This joint report gives insight into the differences among the countries involved, but does not provide systematic benchmarks. The eight national audits were not designed to provide specific benchmarks for the enforcement of the regulation.

Structure of this report

This report consists of five chapters, starting with this introduction, which provides background information on international waste shipments and the EWSR. The second chapter discusses the formal implementation requirements, the classification of waste and the information networks. Chapter 3 examines the enforcement network and provides information on enforcement practices in each of the eight countries. Chapter 4 looks at the way in which infringements of the EWSR are punished. A summary of the conclusions and recommendations is presented in chapter 5.