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Commission plans to improve financial management

The European Commission has adopted the "Sound and Efficient Financial Management 2000", or SEM 2000, programme, which aims to change its procedures for the handling of funds.

The new programme will rationalize the verification of expenditure, improve procedures for internal ...
The European Commission has adopted the "Sound and Efficient Financial Management 2000", or SEM 2000, programme, which aims to change its procedures for the handling of funds.

The new programme will rationalize the verification of expenditure, improve procedures for internal audit and improve coordination of control and audit between the Member States and the Commission. It will also attempt to make new EU legislation as fraud-proof as possible.

The Commission is responsible for a budget of around ECU 85 billion per year, and makes some 250,000 payments every year. These payments range from travel expenses to huge sums paid out under the Structural Funds or Common Agricultural Policy. All of these payments pass through the Directorate General for Financial Control (DG XX). As the numbers of payments has grown in recent years, the system has become over-complicated and cumbersome.

The new programme, by improving audit procedures and rationalizing the checking of payments, will enable payments to be speeded up. This will be an important contribution to the Commission's efforts to improve the management of RTD programmes, in particular, in reducing the time taken for payment of participants in RTD projects.
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