At all levels in the EU, public sector contributes with huge amounts of funds to finance the needs of the economy, and consequently is held accountable for sound and efficient management of the funds entrusted to it by the Member states’ taxpayers.
The EU public sector must demonstrate that it efficiently spends the available resources, and that output and outcomes are effective. To that end, Public Internal Control (PIC) adds value by contributing to the setting up of a model that meet international standards in the financial management and control of the use of public funds.
The model, globally recognised as best practice, provides for the basics that may contribute significantly to preventing fraud and corruption. Since the European Commission implemented PIC as a framework for the effective and efficient control of the resources it manages in 2002, European countries have progressively re-engineer their regulatory control models to embed PIC principles.
Exchange of information between public administrations in the EU can contribute to achieving that common objective of a public budget that delivers results.
In 2012, at the request of the Member States, the European Commission launched a PIC network that meet via regular conferences. In June 2017 in Budapest, a strategy for the future development of the PIC Network was presented and endorsed by the participants.
In addition, the results of a subsequent survey highlighted the need to increase the impact from Network activities. As closer involvement of high-level management is crucial to ensure that outputs of the Network are promoted and used within the Member States, the idea was launched of creating a new and enhanced PIC Network of high-level executives. A first meeting at technical level took place on 14 October 2019 in Brussels and the name of the Network was changed to BSN (Better Spending Network).
The first of what will become an annual high-level conference of the Better Spending Network was due to take place in September 2021. Due to the current context (COVID-19 and crisis in Ukraine), the first conference had to be postponed and the new date is still to be fixed.