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Performance Auditing of EU Co-Funded Investments Carried out by the European Court of Auditors — Results or no Results? That is the Question. 2014-2020 and 2021-2027, San Ġiljan

Spinola Bay met op de achtergrond de Portomaso Tower in San Giljan
datum 20 mei 2019
plaats San Ġiljan, Malta
organisatie European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) carries out three types of audit in the area of the EU Cohesion Policy: financial, compliance and performance audits. Each of them has different objectives, addresses different audit questions and applies different methodology.

The legal framework 2014-2020 had the ambition to be more results oriented spending framework, where performance and results were the key words. Performance will be even more important in the next programming period 2021 - 2027, which we already started to prepare.

This highly practical course presents all aspects of each stage of the performance audit process. It includes the unique feature of providing an insight into how the European Court of Auditors plan, prepare and implement their audit assignments, covering real-life audit case studies and experiences of the Court’s teams.

It also explains the rules proposed for performance measurement for the 2021 - 2027 period, has some unique features and insights with regard to the analysis of costs and benefits, and the strength of Key performance Indicators, and, how to use them.

How will it help you?

After the presentation of each stage of a performance audit, you will work on real - life case studies in small working groups with direct involvement and guidance of experts from the European Court of Auditors in order to learn how to carry out the performance audit yourself in your Institution, or how to be prepared for future ECA’s auditors visits.

Who will benefit most?

Audit, Managing and Certifying Authorities, Intermediate Bodies, beneficiaries of EU Funds, independent auditors dealing with or interested in EU funded projects and programmes; consulting companies specialised in auditing EU co-funded programmes and projects, and representatives of Ministries dealing with, and responsible for, spending public (national and EU) money.

What will you be able to do with what you learn?

You will improve your practical knowledge about each stage of the performance auditing carried out by the European Court of Auditors. You will also be able to apply this knowledge for developing a results based analysis system within your organisation, and you will learn about the rules proposed for 2021 - 2027.


MONDAY 20 MAY 2019



Registration and handing out of seminar material



Opening of the seminar: introduction to the programme, objectives and methodology

Iwona Karwot, Senior Lecturer and Project Leader, EIPA Barcelona

Luc T’Joen, Senior Administrator, Performance Audit, European Court of Auditors.



Tour de table: presentation of participants to endorse networking


Part I - Setting the scene: what is a performance audit, and how do we plan one?



Performance audit approach and objectives: the three “E”s (Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness); the distinction with financial, compliance and internal auditing; the European Court of Auditor’s mandate

Luc T’Joen



Questions & Answers



Coffee break



Overview of the performance audit cycle: main steps - Purpose of the preliminary study and risk assessment. In-depth focus on aspects of particular relevance, such as the use of a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), and the definition of Key Performance Indicators

Guido Fara, Auditor, European Court of Auditors



Workshop I: WHAT exactly should we audit and HOW should we plan it?

Case studies:

I - Transport: High speed rail, air and maritime transport

II - Energy efficiency and renewable energy

III - Public - private partnerships (PPP)

Based on hand-outs prepared by the Court’s experts, five case studies dealing with transport (High speed rail; maritime transport; air transport; energy efficiency, and PPPs will be developed focusing on the following issues:

  • 1. 
    What is a Programme Logic Model, and how to use it to assess performance?
  • 2. 
    Risk assessment: how to identify the main risks, and assess their likelihood and importance?
  • 3. 
    Which of the three “E’s” will you choose?

Luc T’Joen, Guido Fara and Lorenzo Pirelli



Joint lunch in the hotel restaurant



Plenary session with short group presentations, and advice from the trainers



Outlining the performance audit plan: defining audit questions, scope, criteria, methodology and preparing an evidence collection plan with an in-depth focus on a number of specific audit methodologies, such as benchmarking and the use of technical experts, consultants, surveys and focus groups for gathering data

Lorenzo Pirelli, Auditor, European Court of Auditors



Workshop II: HOW are we going to do the audit? CBA quality and benchmarking

Based on hand-outs prepared by the Court’s experts, the five case studies worked upon in Workshop I will be continued with further analysis on:

  • 1. 
    What Audit Questions would you develop in your group?
  • 2. 
    What is an Evidence collection Plan, and how to use it to enable a performance audit?

Case studies:

I - High speed rail, air and maritime transport

II - Energy efficiency and renewable energy

III - Public - private partnerships (PPP)

Luc T’Joen, Guido Fara and Lorenzo Pirelli



End of the first day



Sightseeing tour of La Valletta



Official dinner





Plenary session with short group presentations, and advice from the trainers


Part II - Implementing a performance audit : real life findings of ECA audits



Presentation of some of the real life findings of transport audits (a selection of findings on seaports, maritime transport and airports performance audits)

Luc T’Joen



Coffee break



Presentation of some of the real life findings of energy and rural development performance audits (energy efficiency, renewable energy and start-up aid to young farmers performance audits)

Lorenzo Pirelli



Joint lunch in the restaurant



Presentation of some of the real life findings of the public - private partnership performance audit (PPPs on transport and broadband infrastructures) and of the high speed rail performance audit

Guido Fara


Part III - Reporting on a performance audit



Drafting a performance audit report: main principles and quality checks; drawing conclusions techniques, and making recommendations to improve spending quality

Luc T’Joen



Workshop III: Which report would you publish?

Using the detailed feedback of the morning presentations on the real life findings on the three performance audit developed (High speed rail, airports and PPPs), participants will be working again in groups, guided by the Court’s experts, on:

  • 1. 
    What would be the main parts and headings of your audit report?
  • 2. 
    Which conclusions would you draw, and in what order?
  • 3. 
    What recommendations would you make?

Luc T’Joen, Guido Fara and Lorenzo Pirelli



Plenary session with short group presentations, and advice from the trainers



End of the second day




Part IV - Impact and follow-up of a performance audit



Examples of impact of performance audits - Follow-up of recommendations

Guido Fara


Part V - Implementing a performance audit in your organisation



How to implement a performance audit in your organization: a discussion on possible practical cases in your organisation, and possible suggestions from the ECA specialists

Luc T’Joen, Guido fara and Lorenzo Pirelli



Coffee break


Part VI - Performance audit in the programming period 2021 - 2017



The use of performance audit in the programming period 2021 - 2027: a future outlook. What may change, how, what do you need to know, and what do you need to do?

Luc T’Joen



Q&A session



Closure of seminar and issuing of EIPA certificates to participants

Iwona Karwot and Luc T’Joen

Course venue

The George, Urban Boutique Hotel

Paceville Avenue

St Julians, STJ 3103 Malta


Phone: +356 2011 1000

Programme Organiser

Ms Miriam Escola

Tel: +34 93 245 12 06



The fee includes documentation and refreshments. Lunches, a reception or dinner are included if mentioned in the programme. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.


EIPA offers a 10% discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?

Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Hotel reservations

EIPA is pleased to make reservations for you at the same hotel where the seminar will take place, and where special rates apply for EIPA participants. Should you wish to make use of this possibility, kindly contact the organiser of this course m.escola@eipa.eu. Payment is to be made directly and personally to the hotel upon checking out. Please note that hotel reservations can be guaranteed until the 1st of May.

EIPA Barcelona has made a block booking at The George, Urban Boutique Hotel

https://www.thegeorgemalta.com at the special rates of:

Single room: €140

Double room: €160

(Breakfast and VAT included. + eco-tax 0.5€ pppn.)


Lunch(es) will be served at the hotel restaurant and dinner will be held at a restaurant in town. Special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic) can be indicated once you receive the confirmation of the seminar.


Confirmation of registration will be forwarded to participants on receipt of the completed online registration form.


Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy

For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants.

EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.).



European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)

Het Europees instituut voor bestuurskunde (beter bekend als The European Institute of Public Administration - ofwel EIPA) streeft ernaar om de kennis van ambtenaren die zich met de EU bezighouden te vergroten door het ontwikkelen en organiseren van trainingen. Het instituut wil wetenschappelijke kennis en praktische 'know–how' met elkaar verbinden. EIPA bestaat al meer dan 35 jaar.

Het hoofdkantoor van EIPA is gevestigd in Maastricht en heeft dependances in Luxemburg en Barcelona. Gemiddeld nemen 14.000 nationale en Europese ambtenaren per jaar deel aan de trainingen. Daarnaast biedt EIPA ook consultancy, onderzoek en op maat gemaakte programma’s/trainingen aan. Bij EIPA werken circa 120 hoogopgeleide medewerkers.


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