The Commission decided to revise its internal control arrangements as part of the Financial Reform of 2000. This reform resulted in the empowerment of Authorising Officers by Delegation as regards financial management and internal control. With the power came responsibility and fresh obligations notably to provide assurance to the Commission on the management of activities via ‘Annual Activity Reports’ (AARs).
Every year all the Authorising Officers by Delegation in the Commission and its Executive Agencies report on the effectiveness of their internal control systems in the AARs. Assessment of the effectiveness of the EC internal systems, based on information from the AARs, is included in the Synthesis report (as of 2016, in the Annual Management and Performance Report for the EU Budget).
The Commission’s framework was developed specifically for its environment. It is based on international good practice and inspired by the COSO1 framework.
1. ‘COSO’ is the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. The COSO organisation is sponsored and funded by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA); the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), Financial Executives International (FEI) and the US Accounting Organisations (AAA & AICPA).
The Integrated Internal Control Framework (IICF) action plan has been finalised and the measures have been integrated in the Commission's current control systems.
Currently the EU institutions are not pursuing the introduction of the tolerable risk of error as a budget discharge concept as such. However, several elements of it (e.g. expected level of risk, control effectiveness, control efficiency, control cost-effectiveness, have been retained as key management indicators and are reported on by the Commission departments in their Annual Activity Reports).