ARACHNE is an integrated IT tool for data mining and data enrichment developed by the European Commission. Its objective is to support managing authorities in their administrative controls and management checks in the area of Structural Funds (European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund).
ARACHNE can increase the efficiency of projects selection, management verifications and further strengthen fraud identification, prevention and detection.
Arachne gathers data from ESF and ERDF managing authorities and from external data sources. Data subjects concerned are legal entities and natural persons. The categories of personal data processed are the following:
1. From the ESF and ERDF managing authorities:
2. From external data sources provided by Vadis Technologies:
a) ORBIS from commercial provider Bureau Van Dijk:
b) WORLD COMPLIANCE from commercial provider LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Inc.:
Where an ARACHNE user, i.e. the European Commission or a Member State, identifies an invalid matching between the internal and external data sources, he/she must report this the Arachne team in the IT department of DG EMPL through a procedure referred to as "feedback loop". The rectifications introduced via the "feedback loop" will impact on the ARACHNE system (calculated risks), not on the initial source of information itself.
Article 325 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU) requires the Commission and the Member States to counter fraud and any illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the Union. Preventing and detecting fraud is therefore a general obligation for all Commission Services in the framework of their daily activities involving the use of resources.
The legal basis of the ARACHNE system encompasses:
Integrating Arachne in the management and control system and effectively applying Arachne in the day-to-day management and verification of expenditure claims and projects would be considered as one important part in meeting the requirement of Article 125§4(c) of Regulation (EU) 1303/2013. The Commission has provided non-binding technical guidance to Member States (ref. guidance note EGESIF 14-0021-00 of 16 June 2014) to assist them in the implementation of this article.
The Commission offers the development and implementation of the Arachne Risk Scoring Tool without any charges for the Member States. A framework contract signed by the Commission covers the Arachne licenses for the whole duration of the programming period 2014-2020 (until the closure of the period). Towards the end of the contract, it is planned to evaluate the use and impact of the tool. Subject to the results of this evaluation the Commission proposes a renewal of the contract after the completion of this framework contract and will strongly support free licences for national authorities.
Upon the request of the authorities the Commission provides training for those colleagues who are designated to use Arachne. Additionally the managing authorities will be advised on how to integrate the programme into their daily work and into their management and control system. The Commission shares the same aim as the national and local authorities to prevent and fight against fraud and irregularities and to increase effectiveness and efficiency of management verifications.
The Arachne Risk Scoring Tool represents the state of the art in terms of data mining and data enrichment. Applying this advanced technology will contribute significantly in helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of management verifications during the selection of operations and the financial management and control of the operational programmes. On-the-spot verifications of operations and administrative verifications in respect of each application for reimbursement by beneficiaries are costly and absorb administrative capacity. The tool helps you to allocate, in an efficient way, your human resource capacity for the desk review and on-the-spot verifications by focusing on the more risky beneficiaries, projects, contractors and contracts.
The Arachne Risk Scoring Tool will provide the managing authorities the possibility to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of management verification and to record and present the results of increased effectiveness and efficiency of management verifications over time.
The Arachne Risk Scoring Tool identifies more than 100 risk indicators, which are grouped into 7 risk categories such as procurement, contract management, eligibility, performance, concentration, other and reputational and fraud alerts. All risk indicators together help the managing authorities in identifying the most risky projects, beneficiaries, contractors and contracts. Once in place and once part of the management and control system the Arachne Risk Scoring Tool can substantially increase the level of prevention and detection and the fight against irregularities and fraud.
For the new programming period 2014-2020, all managing authorities have to adopt their computerised system according to Article 72 (d) of the Regulation (EU) 1303/2013. The timing is therefore ideal to set up the systems in a way that all or most data fields for Arachne are included and can be extracted in an easy manner in order to benefit from a full range risk scoring.