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Ombudsman asks Commission how it will ensure accountability of recovery fund spending

The Ombudsman has asked the Commission for information on how it intends to ensure transparency and accountability in relation to the use of EU funds meant to help Member States recover from the pandemic.

In her letter, the Ombudsman emphasizes the importance of providing accessible information about the loans and grants supported by the EUR700 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility. In particular, the Ombudsman noted that the public should be reassured that Member States comply with any conditions attached to the EU funds. 

The letter asks the Commission what measures are in place to ensure transparency in the  negotiations of national plans, and how it will ensure public scrutiny of milestones reached by Member States. The Ombudsman also asks if the Commission is planning to set up a dedicated website listing the national plans, and how it will supervise audit mechanisms in Member States. The Commission is due to reply by 24 May 2022.

As part of its overall work in this area, the Ombudsman Office, in cooperation with the OECD and with the help of the European Network of Ombudsmen, published a paper outlining ‘good practice principles’ for government transparency in the use of recovery funds.