News

Audit report published on management of Conflicts of Interest in EU Agencies

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has published a report on the management of conflict of interest in four selected EU Agencies, including ECHA.

Helsinki, 11 October 2012 – The Court of Auditors report is based on fieldwork done in autumn of 2011 in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The Court said it focused on these four agencies because, in carrying out their work, they involve external scientists and engage with a number of stakeholders, such as consumer representatives, manufacturers, operators, distributors, etc. All of these Agencies are crucial to EU policy-making and therefore under a high level of public scrutiny.

ECHA welcomes the audit and its recommendations and has already taken action – prior to the publication – on many of the issues raised. Independence of decision making is vital to the Agency's work. ECHA has had a system for preventing and handling potential conflicts of interest in place from the very start and the Agency has strengthened its policy and procedures over the last two years. Therefore, many of the recommendations in the audit report, which constitute a reflection of the situation more than one year ago, have already been implemented.

ECHA will continue to work closely with its institutional EU partners in addressing the issues and recommendations of the report. ECHA also welcomes the Court's recommendation to the EU legislator to consider further developing the EU framework dedicated to management of conflict of interest situations. 

Further information

The ECA's special report and ECHA's replies are available at the Court's web page:
http://www.eca.europa.eu
 

ECHA's independence policies:
http://echa.europa.eu/about-us/the-way-we-work/procedures-and-policies/conflicts-of-interest