Auditors Say EFSA is Functioning Well

EU - The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) continues to demonstrate its value as the cornerstone of risk assessment for food and feed in the EU and fulfil its obligations to operate in an independent manner, an external evaluation has found. The review also makes a number of recommendations on how the Authority could further improve its performance.
calendar icon 7 September 2012
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The report, by international auditors, Ernst & Young, notes the high quality of EFSA’s scientific outputs and risk communication activities. It highlights the Authority's culture of transparency and robust systems to ensure the impartiality of its scientific advice.

However, the evaluation also recommends that EFSA: enhance transparency in some decision-making processes; build better links with Member States; increase its planning and prioritisation capacity; improve the clarity of its communications and develop its data collection practices.

These proposals will make an important contribution to shaping future development of the organisation.

EFSA Executive Director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle said: “This external evaluation underlines that EFSA operates to the highest standards – particularly with regard to the quality of our scientific opinions and risk assessment methodologies.

“Independence, transparency and openness are core values upon which the Authority is built and the review acknowledges that our culture and safeguards in this respect are among the most rigorous of any comparable organisation.

“We welcome the recommendations the report makes to improve the way we operate still further and these will be key in laying the foundations to build our strategic plan over the next five years.”

EFSA will reflect carefully on the report and its recommendations will be discussed among all key partners and stakeholders including the European Commission, European Parliament, member states as well as the Authority’s Management Board. Part of this review will be carried out during EFSA’s Institutional Conference on 13 November 2012.

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Charlotte Johnson

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