Every Directorate-General (DG) has an internal audit unit that ensures the DG's procedures comply with the rules. They are free to audit processes, transactions, assets, etc. They report directly to the DG's Director General and also to the Commission’s general Internal Audit Service
Every year there is also an independent external audit of the EU’s annual accounts and resource management by the European Court of Auditors, resulting in a report for the Parliament and Council.
- analyses whether individual activities and payments were legal and correct
- audits the reliability of the annual accounts themselves, to assess wheter they provide a "true and fair" view of the financial situation.
On the basis of this audit, the Court of Auditors issues an opinion – a 'statement of assurance' – on the figures presented and the system and controls in place. The statement marks the beginning of the annual budget discharge procedure.
Other annual reports by the Court of Auditors
- Accounts and activities of the European Development Fund
- Specific EU policies (special reports) (more in-depth analysis).
See also: EU spending – a myth-buster