The Managing Authority (hereinafter the MA) for Interreg V B Adriatic Ionian Programme (hereinafter Adrion) is committed to maintain high legal, ethical and moral standards, to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity and honesty and wishes to be seen as opposed to fraud and corruption in the way that it conducts its business.
All members of Adrion staff are required and expected to share the commitment to always behave fairly and honestly, and, if able to do so, provide help, information and support to assist the investigation of fraud and corruption. The objective of the present policy is to promote a culture which deters fraudulent activity and to facilitate both the prevention and detection of fraud, and the development of procedures which will help in the investigation of fraud and related offences and which will ensure that such cases are dealt with timely and appropriately.
A procedure is in place for the disclosure of situations of conflict on interests: The MA has foreseen a procedure for the disclosure of situations of conflict of interests, especially when it comes to the evaluation of projects.
In its everyday action, being an administrative Unit within the Emilia-Romagna Region, the MA acts in compliance with both the National and regional legal regulations concerning the transparency and anti-corruption policy, the latter providing rules, behaviours and mandatory declarations aimed at disclosing potential conflict of interests.
The term of Fraud is commonly used to describe a wide range of misconducts including theft, corruption, embezzlement, bribery, forgery, misrepresentation, collusion, money laundering and concealment of material facts, and that intention, in particular is the key element that characterizes fraud, setting it apart from irregularity. It often involves the use of deception to make a personal gain for oneself, a connected person or a third party, or a loss for another. Fraud does not just have a potential financial impact, but it can cause damage to the reputation of an organisation responsible for managing funds in a sound, effective and efficient way. This is of particular importance for a public organisation responsible for the management of EU funds.
More specifically, corruption is the abuse of power for private gain.
Conflict of interests occurs where the impartial and objective exercise of the official functions of a person are compromised for reasons involving family, emotional life, political or national affinity, economic interest or any other shared interest with e.g. an applicant for or a recipient of EU funds.
- Within the Emilia-Romagna Region, hosting Adrion Managing Authority, regarding the Prevention Corruption Plan, considered one of the core aspects of anti-fraud policy, the responsible manager is Maurizio Ricciardelli (head of the regional service Legal Affairs and State Aid within the Directorate headed by Francesco Raphael Frieri – manager pro tempore Adrion Managing Authority).
- Adrion Managing Authority according to art. 125 Reg. UE 1303/2013 has responsibility to put in place adeguate and proportionate anti fraud measures
- the MA, represented by the Director Francesco Raphael Frieri of the Directorate General Resources, Europe, Innovation and Institutions, has overall responsibility for managing the risk of fraud and corruption and is responsibility for:
o Undertaking a regular review, with the help of a risk assessment team, of the fraud risk;
o Establishing an effective anti-fraud policy and fraud response plan;
o Ensuring fraud awareness of staff and training;
o Ensuring that the MA refers promptly investigations to competent investigation bodies when they occur;
Process owners/managers and coordinator of the MA are responsible for the day-to-day management of fraud risks and action plans, as set out in the fraud risk assessment and particularly for:
o monitoring that an adequate system of internal control exists within their area of responsibility;
o Preventing and detecting fraud;
o Ensuring due diligence and implementing precautionary actions in case of suspicion of fraud
o Taking corrective measures, including any administrative penalties, as relevant.
- The Certifying Authority employs an electronic monitoring system (eMS) which records and stores reliable information on each operation; in particular the officers receive adequate information from the MA on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure;
- The Audit Authority has a responsibility to act in accordance within professional standards in assessing the risk of fraud and the adequacy of the control framework in place.
The MA has procedures in place for reporting fraud, both internally and to the European Anti-Fraud Office. In particular, all the MA personnel, both internal and external, is due to report possible offenses (criminal, disciplinary, administrative-accounting) they might have come to know during their functions, by following the procedure outlined in article 14 of the Regional Code of Conduct and in administrative decision adopted by the Responsible for the corruption prevention n. 4824 of 8 April 2014 “Procedure for reporting irregularities or other administrative offenses. Regulation of the public employee protection that reports wrongdoing (so called “whistleblower”)”.
Adrion Participating States transmit to Olaf (European Anti-Fraud Office) the information on irregularities that exceed 10.000 euros, related to expenditure paid out by the beneficiary in implementing the operation”. At the same time they inform the Managing Authority, which promptly update e-MS section Corrections and Audits.
Any Partner State has its own national procedure to notify irregularities; all partner states shall guarantee that their procedure is respectful of the Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1970/2015 and Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1974/2015.
All reports will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence and in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (GDPR). Staff reporting irregularities or suspected frauds are protected from reprisals.
The MA put in place proportionate anti-fraud measures based on a thorough fraud risk assessment, in compliance with the recommendations in the EGESIF Note 14-0021-00 of 16/06/2014 on the implementation of Article 125.4 c). To this purpose in particular, it employs IT tools, including the already recommended ARACHNE, to detect risky operations and ensures that staff is aware of fraud risks and receives anti-fraud training. The MA carries out a vigorous and prompt review into all cases of suspected and actual fraud which have occurred with a view to improve the internal management and control system where necessary. The fraud risk self-assessment in particular is carried out at least once each year by a self-assessment team designated by Managing authority
Since fraud and corruption can manifest themselves in many different ways, the MA is committed to pay the highest attention to all the possible expressions of the mentioned phenomena. The principle is that of zero tolerance in that regard, helped by a robust control system that is designed to prevent and detect, as far as is practicable, acts of fraud and correct their impact, should they occur.