Statement of Commissioner Piebalgs In relation to: European Court of Auditors Special Report 'Has the devolution of the Commission's management of external assistance from its headquarters to its delegations led to improved aid delivery?
I very much welcome this report ; it comes at a particularly opportune time as we look forward to renewing and improving our development cooperation approach over the next year, with two major consultations on the future of development launched at the end of last year.
I am particularly pleased that the Court has confirmed that the bold approach of the Commission in devolving its aid management to staff in the field which has led to faster and better aid delivery. I am also glad to see the Court's judgement that we have made important improvements to our financial management. In times of financial cutbacks across Europe it is more important than ever that we make sure that every euro we spend really counts.
Nevertheless, there is no room for complacency. After the focus on supporting and improving the quality of our aid interventions, we fully accept the Court's analysis that a shift now needs to be made towards measuring what we do, so that we can be more accountable for our results and at the same time increase the visibility of our aid. This work has already started. Our new planning, monitoring and reporting architecture will be a significant step towards a more results-orientated aid delivery culture.
We also need to find ways of doing 'more with less' and optimising our human resources policy – particularly for staff in the field – which will be another major focus going forward. We need to make sure we get the right staff in the right place and develop a flexible enough system to be able to respond to the changing nature of our portfolio and our role over time.
This report and the work we have started will help us to focus on these goals and design our systems with the maximum effectiveness, efficiency and accountability in mind. I am absolutely committed to making these improvements - to make sure that European taxpayers' money makes a real difference to the lives of those who need it most.