Inspectorate General of Services

Documents from [1998] to [2001]
Fonds Creator

The Inspectorate general (IGS - Inspection Générale des Services) exists to promote efficiency, effectiveness and economy in the functioning of the Commission's services. For this purpose, it provides the Commission with analyses and recommendations concerning: the organisation and use of resources (human, material, financial) employed by the services, the relationship between the resources used and the results obtained, the respect of the priorities decided by the Commission, the respect of appropriate procedures, working methods and rules.
Reporting to the Vice-President for Administrative Reform, it executes its task in independence, under the direction of the Inspector General, head of the service. It makes recommendations and gives advice independently of, but in co-operation with, the services concerned. Its task of organisational audit is distinct from that of the Commission's financial audit. Its inspections, audits and reports may concern a single service - "vertical" reports - or subjects involving several or all services - "horizontal" reports. It monitored the implementation of its recommendations by the services concerned however it was not responsible for tasks of managment or execution. It gave priority in its activities to questions related to the Commission's programme of administrative reform. It contributed to the development of measures of administrative reform and the monitoring of their application.
The IGS preforms its work on the basis of a mandate, endorsed by the Vice-President after consultation with the relevant members of the Commission and Heads of Services. Each report is made by a team of inspectors working in collaboratoin with the service concerned, with full freedom of movement and their investigation, and access to whatever information may be required for the accomplishment of their task. Their report is presented to the Head of Service for comments, which are included in the final report.
In April 1998 Graham Avery was appointed Inspector General of the Commission and head of the Inspectorate General. Its name in French - L'Inspection Generale des Services - gave the acronym IGS by which it was generally known within the Commission.;The IGS, which existed for 10 years from 1991 to 2000, was one of the smallest services of the Commission, with a total personnel of 25-35. Created to fill the need for an internal "management advisory service", it reported directly to the President of the Commission : its task was to make recommendations on organisation and efficiency, not financial audit which was the role of the DG for Financial Control. The IGS and Financial Control were later subsumed into the new Internal Audit Service.;The main activity of IGS when Avery arrived was the "screening" exercise - a review of the organisation and operation of the Commission known as DECODE. This acronym was derived from the title Dessiner la Commission de Demain (Designing Tomorrow's Commission) given to the exercise when it was set up in October 1997. ;The DECODE exercise provided for the first time a detailed "photograph" of the Commission's human resources (which it estimated at 31,013 man-years), of its Directorates General and other services (more than 40) and of its tasks (analysed according to different types of activity). Among the aims of the exercise was to clarify the number and nature of the external resources employed, a question which had begun to cause political problems for the Commission (inadequately regulated contracts with private firms) and to establish priorities for its work (or rather "negative priorities" or activities that could be given up by the Commission, or handed over to other bodies).;The operation was conducted by 12 "Screening" Teams : each Team, led by a Commission official at Director level, and including personnel from IGS and other DGs, analysed a group of DGs, interviewing officials from Director General level downwards, and obtaining replies to a detailed questionnaire. The result was a series of reports on individual DGs (47 reports) and of reports on groups of DGs (12 reports) : this work, which was practically completed in December 1998, was discussed in the first months of 1999 at "hearings" between the different teams, the Secretary General, and the cabinet of the President .;Then occurred an event which interrupted the exercise : the resignation in March 1999 of the Commission under its President Jacques Santer, following the report of a Committee of Independent Experts on alleged fraud and mismanagement.;Nevertheless, the IGS completed the operation with a report of about 100 pages entitled Designing Tomorrow's Commission (Dessiner la Commission de Demain) which Avery submitted in July 1999 to the outgoing President of the Commission.. The DECODE report was then inherited by the new Commission under President Romano Prodi, which took office in September 1999. In the new Commission, the IGS reported to Neil Kinnock, responsible as Vice-President of the Commission responsible for administrative reform. The DECODE report prefigured some of the ideas subsequently included in his White Paper on Reform in March 2000.;After the DECODE exercise, the IGS resumed the task of inspections and reports on specific themes, some of which were completed by the time of its abolition in May 2000. During DECODE the IGS continued the follow-up of inspections made in preceding years.;In the period between the designation of Romano Prodi as President of the Commission and his taking office in September 1999, a number of decisions were taken on reforms, particularly on the reorganisation of the Directorates General (with new names, in place of the traditional Roman numbers) and the distribution of portfolios among the new Commissioners. As Inspector General, Avery had a part in preparing these decisions with the Secretary General (Carlo Trojan) and the Chef de Cabinet of Prodi (David O'Sullivan, later Secretary General).

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