Declarations under Article 131(3) of EU Financial Rules 966/2012

Interne Prüfung durch Justiz und Verbraucher wird erwartet.

Dear Justice (JUST),

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

1. Declarations submitted by Danish Institute for Human Rights under Article 131(3) of EU Financial Rules 966/2012 for the grants mentioned in these links
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/grant...
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/list_...

I request disclosure of these declarations in such a way that protection of individuals' names inserted in it are ensured (blanked names)and transparency principle applicable to grant agreements is observed (publication in this website).

2. All verification reports performed by responsible authorizing officer or his/her team under the legal requirements of Article 131(3) of EU Financial Rules 966/2012.

3. All Risk assessment reports (if applicable, i.e. in absence of verification reports).

For 2 and 3, if there is voluminous documentation I request related documents only for last 3 years.
Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Stabenow

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Time limit - August 14, 2013

Dear Justice (JUST),

This is a kind reminder for my request. The deadline is 14 August 2013. Thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Stabenow

Justiz und Verbraucher

2 Attachments

Registration number: Ares(2013) 2891696

 

Dear Mr Stabenow,

I am pleased to provide you the document requested from the European
Commission accompanied by a letter signed by Ms Tania Schroeter, Acting
Head of Unit of Justice A4.

I must remind you that this document cannot be reproduced or disseminated
for commercial purposes unless the Commission has first been consulted.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

The PROGRESS Team
 
European Commission
DG JUSTICE
Unit A4

MO59
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium

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New Time Limit - 9/09/2013

Justiz und Verbraucher

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Stabenow,

We refer to your request of access to documents of the Commission of 24 July 2013 and registered under the GESTDEM number 2013/3929, as well as to our holding reply of 16 August 2013.

As for documents requested under point 1, please find attached the declarations submitted by DIHR under Article 173(2) of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 of 23 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, applicable to the grants concerned and corresponding to the current Art. 131(3) of Regulation 966/2012.

Concerning documents requested under points 2 and 3, I regret to inform you that no documents match your application.
Regulation 966/2012 was not in force when the grant applications concerned were submitted. Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation was applicable to the general budget of the European Communities at that time, while Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, was applicable to the grants concerned.

According to the legislation in force at the time of the referred grants, verification of operational and financial capacity is covered by Article 176 (3) of Regulation 2342/2002. There is no risk assessment corresponding to Art. 131(3) of Regulation 966/2012 for operational capacity. Please also take note of Art. 176(4) of Regulation 2342/2002.

If you wish to specify your request in the light of the legislation indicated above, you can address a new request, specifying which documents you are looking for. This request will be of course registered and the deadline for reply will be calculated from the date of reception.

Yours sincerely,

European Commission
DG Justice Unit A4 - Programme Management

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Dear Justice (JUST),

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Justice (JUST)'s handling of my FOI request 'Declarations under Article 131(3) of EU Financial Rules 966/2012'.

Thank you for granting me access to the Declarations on honor of DIHR directors. I would like to request an internal review.

You say that those declarations are under Article 173(2) of financial regulation but this is obviously not the case. The 6 declarations you disclosed to public domain are under article 93 and 94 of the rules quoted.

1. Therefore I renew my request to access declarations under Article 173(2), which concerns two aspects:
-that the Applicant DIHR exist as a legal person (private or public body)
-that the Applicant DIHR has the necessary financial and operational capacity to do the work.
I request that point 1 of Request for internal review is treated as confirmatory application and not as a new request. In case you consider that this is not possible, please present legal arguments.

NEW REQUEST

2. I also request access to the relevant rules or EC internal documents explaining why in the Specifications for Call for proposals JUST/2012/PROG/AG/AD available here http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/477/r...

in p. 5.3 “Financial Capacity” is stated that “The assessment of financial capacity will not apply to public bodies” .

(please refer to the specialist opinion provided in Annotations).

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/decla...

Yours faithfully,

Mike Stabenow

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CONFUSION between "ASSESSMENT" and "VERIFICATIONS"

In the Specifications for Call for proposals JUST/2012/PROG/AG/AD available here http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/477/r... in p. 5.3 “Financial Capacity” is stated that “The assessment of financial capacity will not apply to public bodies” .

In the same document EC states that the assessment of financial capacity will apply to private bodies and certain criteria must be fulfilled.

Under p. 5.3 is stated that the financial capacity “will be assessed on the basis of the applicant's balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the last two years”.

However, article 176 (1) of Financial Regulations applicable to this call for proposals says that financial assessment is MANDATORY for all 3 types of entities allowed to apply to the Call for proposal (i.e. private entities, public entities and national authorities). Then in second paragraph it requires IMPERATIVELY that the applicant must have stable and sufficient sources of funding and sufficient sources of funding to participate in its funding (20%).
So this is on “ASSESMENT” concept.

On “VERIFICATIONS “concept:

Mandatory verifications of financial and operational capacity is required by paragraph 3 of article 176 (on the basis of supporting documents referred to in Article 173, namely Declaration on honor, profit and loss account, the balance sheet for the last financial year for which the accounts have been closed, etc).

Indeed in p. 4. Article 176 says that the verification of financial capacity shall not apply to public bodies.

There are 2 different concepts in question: “Assessment” and “Verification”.

As is clear from the short overview presented above, the assessment of financial capacity is obligatory for every applicant (either private or public body), while verification of documents submitted by private and public bodies is obligatory only for private bodies.
European Commission made confusion between the two concepts: “Assessment” and “Verification” and wrongly decided that “The assessment of financial capacity will not apply to public bodies” .

According to Oxford Dictionary:
Assessment represents “the action of assessing someone or something” (e.g. the assessment of documents provided for proving financial capacity);

Verification represents “the process of establishing the truth, accuracy, or validity of something” (e.g. the verification of official documents provided in order to prove the financial capacity).

This is how due to this confusion, DIHR was exempted from a mandatory assessment of its financial capacity.

Lack of such assessment of DIHR financial capacity, provided to DIHR the opportunity NOT to declare that Danish Ministry cut off the funding, that their financial capacity is unstable by having funds suspended and that apparently even the mandatory 20% of co-financing were not ensured. There is no declaration on this issue.

Also in declarations under article 93 and 94 there is no reference to the problems in the DIHR accounts - false accounting.

Omission to declare is reason for exclusion during both stages, award procedure and contracting ). Such ommision to declare justifies applying of penalties, suspension of grant, inscription in central data base, etc.
Moreover, it appears that European Commission was fully aware about the false accounting at DIHR.

In 1st March 2012 Mr Messerschmidt (MEP) submitted a Parliamentary Question to Mrs Viviane Reding on the False Accounting at Danish Institute of Human Rights.

That question is stored in the website of European Parliament European Parliament
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getD... and reads as follows:

“To what extent does the Commission monitor the money at the disposal of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights? This EU agency is headed, as the Commission will be aware, by its Danish director Morten Kjærum. Rigsrevisionen (the National Audit Office of Denmark) has now revealed that there was a widespread incidence of false accounting while Mr Kjærum was head of the Danish Institute for Human Rights between 2002 and 2008, and that public funds were used, with Mr Kjærum’s knowledge, contrary to applicable law and their intended use. Bearing in mind that the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has a much larger budget than the Danish body, the circumstances uncovered in relation to Mr Kjærum’s period in charge of the Danish Institute for Human Rights should give rise to a comprehensive audit of the use of resources at the EU agency, inter alia to see whether the unlawful use of public funds has continued at EU level”

In its answer of 20 April 2012 EC declined competence on the subject http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getA...
stating that FRA director is responsible for all what happens in his agency and that “OLAF may also intervene whenever there are sufficiently serious suspicions of fraud, corruption or irregularities detrimental to EU financial interests.”

OLAF might have information and documents on this matter.
New request to OLAF.

Justiz und Verbraucher

Dear Sir,
Thank you for your e-mail dated 14/09/2013. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 16/09/2013 under reference number GestDem 2013/4616.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, your application will be handled within 15 working days. The time limit will expire on 07/10/2013. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

Yours faithfully,

DG JUSTICE Access to documents team

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deadline - 07 / 10 / 2013

Dear Justice (JUST),

This is a reminder that the deadline indicated by you following an extension has elapsed. I would appreciate receiving a reply.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Stabenow

Justiz und Verbraucher

Dear Mr Stabenow,

I refer to your email of 14/09/2013, registered under the above reference.

Please find below our replies:

1) The declarations attached to our email of 10/9/2013 in reply to your request reference GESTDEM 2013/3929 contain the declaration that the applicant has the operational and financial capacity to implement the action.
Regarding the legal status of the applicant, this information has not been subject to a specific declaration, but is part of the application form and/or annexes submitted.

2) Cf. Art. 176(4) of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 of 23 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation
(EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, cf. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexU...

The access to documents system set up by Regulation 1049/2001 does not include internal reviews. In accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation 1049/2001, you are entitled to make a confirmatory application that should be addressed within 15 working days upon receipt of this email to the Secretary-General of the Commission at the following address:
European Commission
Secretary-General
Transparency unit SG-B-5
BERL 5/327
B-1049 Bruxelles
or by email to: [email address]

Best regards,

European Commission
DG Justice Unit A4 - Programme Management

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Dear Justice (JUST),

Many thanks for your answer. I would appreciate clarifications on point 2 as it seems not finished phrase or at least unclear. In fact what is the meaning of point 2?

Yours faithfully,

Mike Stabenow

Justiz und Verbraucher

Dear Mr Stabenow,

On 2) please refer to Art. 176(4) of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 of 23 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation
(EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, available under http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexU...

Best regards,

European Commission
DG Justice Unit A4 - Programme Management

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