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Call for Papers: ReInventing Space

Source – ReInventing Space:

Dramatically reducing space mission cost – New challenges and new opportunities

Increasing demands to reduce spending have led to both new challenges and new opportunities for global space. The challenge is to create dramatically lower cost and more responsive space systems and, of course, the launch systems needed to get them to space quickly and at far lower cost. The benefit of creating these new approaches is new opportunities for both business and government to take advantage of rapidly evolving capabilities:

Tactical space systems to serve defense needs
Low cost constellations for global monitoring
Responsive surveillance for man-made and natural disasters
Our technical sessions and panels will be looking at finding ways to work together to make things happen:

New ways of doing business in space – how do we make money on affordable and responsive space missions?
Tactical space systems – how do we best serve the needs of the defense missions; for civilian missions; the needs of emergency responders?
Low-cost interplanetary missions – can we use the new technology to create dramatically lower cost interplanetary missions?
Ways to dramatically reduce space system and launch cost and schedule – what are the methods, processes, and technologies that we can use to make major reductions in the cost of space missions?
New application areas for low-cost space systems – what are the new applications that can take advantage of newer, much-lower-cost systems?
Education and motivation – How do we use Reinventing Space to educate and motivate the coming generation, without whom there won’t be a space industry?
Let’s get together and start reinventing space for real!

The Call For Abstracts period will be opening during April 2014 and close on Monday 2 June. But in the meantime you may submit abstracts for RIspace 2014 of approximately 500 words in PDF or MS Word, to papers@rispace.org.

Papers are invited on topics including:-

Launch systems
Mission engineering and Constellation design
Novel architectures
Regulation and Space Traffic Control
In-orbit demonstration
Payload and platform technologies
Ground segments

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European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor (COM(2013)0570 – C7-0281/2013 – 2013/2204(DEC))

Source – European Parliament:

1.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor (COM(2013)0570 – C7-0281/2013 – 2013/2204(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012(1) ,

– having regard to the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2012 (COM(2013)0570 – C7-0281/2013)(2) ,

– having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on implementation of the budget for the financial year 2012, together with the institutions’ replies(3) ,

– having regard to the statement of assurance(4) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2012 pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Article 314(10) and Articles 317, 318 and 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) , and in particular Articles 50, 86, 145, 146 and 147 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(6) , and in particular Articles 164, 165 and 166 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A7-0228/2014),

1. Grants the European Data Protection Supervisor discharge in respect of the implementation of the European Data Protection Supervisor’s budget for the financial year 2012;

2. Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3. Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the resolution that forms an integral part of it to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Court of Auditors, the European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ L 56, 29.2.2012.
(2) OJ C 334, 15.11.2013, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 331, 14.11.2013, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 334, 15.11.2013, p. 122.
(5) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

2.European Parliament resolution of 3 April 2014 with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge for implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor (COM(2013)0570 – C7-0281/2013 – 2013/2204(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012(1) ,

– having regard to the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2012 (COM(2013)0570 – C7-0281/2013)(2) ,

– having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on implementation of the budget for the financial year 2012, together with the institutions’ replies(3) ,

– having regard to the statement of assurance(4) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2012 pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Article 314(10) and Articles 317, 318 and 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) , and in particular Articles 50, 86, 145, 146 and 147 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(6) , and in particular Articles 164, 165 and 166 thereof,

– having regard to its previous discharge decisions and resolutions,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A7-0228/2014),

1. Welcomes the conclusion of the Court of Auditors that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2012 for administrative and other expenditure of the European Data Protection Supervisor (‘the Supervisor’) were free from material error and that the examined supervisory and control systems for administrative and other expenditure were effective;

2. Notes with satisfaction that in its 2012 annual report, the Court of Auditors observed that no significant weaknesses had been identified in respect to the audited topics related to the human resources and procurement for the Supervisor;

3. Notes that in 2012, the Supervisor had a total of EUR 7 624 090 in commitment appropriations (EUR 7 564 137 in 2011), and that the implementation rate of those appropriations was 89,69% (85,03% in 2011); finds this a positive development but calls for further efforts to improve the implementation rate and for the changes made to be monitored;

4. Stresses that the Supervisor’s budget is purely administrative; notes that the implementation rate of expenditure on persons working with the institution is 93,18 % (Title 1) and that the expenditure on buildings, furniture, equipment and miscellaneous operating expenditure is 100 % (Title 2); congratulates the Supervisor for the results of 2012;

5. Welcomes the progress regarding better management of allowances and the Court of Auditors’ finding that the measures taken were effective; welcomes, moreover, the fact that the Supervisor intends to continue to improve its system to monitor and control in a timely manner;

6. Invites the Supervisor to continue to monitor the allowances management and improve its performance levels;

7. Following last year’s request, asks the Supervisor to include detailed information on how the recent incorporation of structural changes and the implementation of the electronic system on case management have influenced the cost saving;

8. Recalls that the Treaty of Lisbon enhanced the Supervisor’s competences by extending data protection to all Union policy domains;

9. Takes note of the reorganisation of the Supervisor’s secretariat and the consequent creation of a new ICT unit; requests to be informed of the budgetary impact of that reform;

10. Acknowledges the inclusion of Parliament’s discharge recommendations in the annual activity report;

11. Urges the Supervisor to implement the recommendations made by the Commission’s internal audit service (IAS); expects that logistics and human resources units will improve efficiency following their implementation;

12. Expects to be informed about the full operability of the system which defines key performance indicators and the benchmarking system plan set in 2012; calls on the Supervisor to assess in detail the improvements achieved by that system in its next year’s annual activity report;

13. Calls on the Supervisor to continue informing Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control on the follow-up of the recommendations which are set forth in Parliament’s discharge resolutions;

14. Following last year’s request, asks the Supervisor to include an exhaustive table of all the human resources at the Supervisor’s disposal, broken down by category, grade, sex and nationality in the next annual activity report;

15. Calls on the Supervisor to cooperate with other institutions to come up with a unified methodology of presenting the translation costs in order to simplify the analysis and comparison of the costs;

16. Welcomes the signing of a service level agreement with the Commission’s IAS and expects the results of that agreement to be thoroughly stated in the annual activity report;

17. Considers, in general, that the Supervisor should pay particular attention to ensuring sound financial management, i.e. to using its appropriations economically, efficiently and effectively in the performance of its duties;

18. Calls on the Court of Auditors to include in its next annual report a review of the follow-up by the Supervisor of Parliament’s recommendations in this resolution.

(1) OJ L 56, 29.2.2012.
(2) OJ C 334, 15.11.2013, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 331, 14.11.2013, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 334, 15.11.2013, p. 122.
(5) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012 (C7-0329/2013 – 2013/2241(DEC))

Source – European Parliament:

1.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012 (C7-0329/2013 – 2013/2241(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012, together with the Body’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to the Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office(4) , and in particular Article 13 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0206/2014),

1. Postpones its decision on granting the Administrative Manager of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications discharge in respect of the implementation of the Body’s budget for the financial year 2012;

2. Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3. Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the resolution that forms an integral part of it to the Administrative Manager of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 9.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 337, 18.12.2009, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

2.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on the closure of the accounts of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012 (C7-0329/2013 – 2013/2241(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012, together with the Body’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to the Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office(4) , and in particular Article 13 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0206/2014),

1. Postpones its decision on the closure of the accounts of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012;

2. Instructs its President to forward this Decision to the Administrative Manager of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 9.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 337, 18.12.2009, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

3.European Parliament resolution of 3 April 2014 with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012 (C7-0329/2013 – 2013/2241(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications for the financial year 2012, together with the Body’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to the Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office(4) , and in particular Article 13 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to its previous discharge decisions and resolutions,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0206/2014),

A. whereas, according to its financial statements, the final budget of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (‘the Body’) for the financial year 2012 was EUR 3 190 000, representing an increase of 170,60 % compared to 2011; whereas this increase is due to the Body’s recently established nature; whereas the Body’s entire budget derives from the Union budget,

B. whereas the Court of Auditors has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Body’s annual accounts for the financial year 2012 are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

Comments on the reliability of accounts

1. Notes that the Body’s accounting system has been validated in 2013;

Comments on the legality and regularity of transactions

2. Regrets that the committed appropriations carried over, amounting to EUR 61 500 (10 % of the total committed appropriations carried over), did not correspond to legal commitments and were thus irregular; calls on the Body to take steps in order to avoid such situations in the future and to report on the steps taken by 1 September 2014;

3. Notes that the experiences learned in both 2011 and 2012 were addressed in 2013 by specifying the financial procedures and by providing additional refresher training courses to all financial actors; notes that additional attention was paid throughout 2013 to the correct opening of financial and legal commitments;

Budget and financial management

4. Notes with concern that budget monitoring efforts during the financial year 2012 resulted in a budget implementation rate of 63,4 % and that the payment appropriations execution rate was 66,16 %; calls on the Body to substantially improve budget monitoring efforts and the aforementioned rates of budget implementation and execution; expects the Body to report on the steps taken to remedy the situation by 1 September 2014;

Commitments and carryovers

5. Regrets that some EUR 101 000 (45 % of the committed appropriations carried over from 2011) were cancelled; expresses concern that appropriations of EUR 545 000 (17 % of the total 2012 appropriations) were not used and had to be cancelled; regrets that the level of carry-overs of committed appropriations to 2013 was high at EUR 611 000 (19% of the total); believes that this indicates difficulties in the planning and/or implementation of the Body’s activities, as the carry-overs for 2012 were mostly related to delayed recruitments and the absence of an effective policy to ensure the timely presentation and reimbursement of mission costs claimed by experts; calls on the Body to address the situation and to report to the discharge authority on the steps taken by 1 September 2014;

Transfers

6. Notes that according to the annual activity report as well as the Court of Auditor’s audit findings, the level and nature of transfers in 2012 have remained within the limits of the financial rules;

Procurement and recruitment procedures

7. Notes with concern that there is considerable room for improvement regarding the preparation, execution and documentation of procurement procedures; notes in particular that award procedures did not give sufficient attention to the price-quality ratio and that general award criteria had not been broken down further into sub criteria to allow a clear and comparable evaluation of the offers;

8. Regrets that the recruitment procedures examined showed significant shortcomings affecting transparency, namely that questions for written tests and interviews were set after the applications had been examined by the selection board, no threshold scores were set for admission to written tests and interviews and for inclusion in the list of suitable candidates, and nominations and changes in the composition of the selection board were not approved by the appointing authority;

9. Notes with concern that while most of the Body’s staff have an administrative or support function and do not travel, they have all been provided with a mobile phone with a monthly limit up to EUR 50; expresses concern that there are no controls to monitor private use;

10. Regrets that the Body does not have a treasury policy; notes that as a result, at the end of 2012, all cash held by the Body (EUR 1 600 000) was held in one bank, which has a BBB credit rating;

11. Calls on the Body to report on the actions taken to remedy the aforementioned outstanding issues concerning procurement and recruitment procedures by 1 September 2014;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

12. Regrets that the Body has provided limited information regarding conflicts of interests policy, referring only to conflicts of interests declarations being requested and making no mention of any code of conduct or policy in place; notes that there is nothing on the publication of the declarations, on awareness training in place or on bringing the Body into line with the Commission’s Guidelines on the Prevention and Management of Conflict of Interests in EU Decentralised Agencies; calls on the Body to remedy this situation before 1 September 2014; calls on the Body to provide the discharge authority with details of the measures being taken in this domain, particularly because it is composed by representatives of the electronic communication regulators of the Member States and it has to advise those regulators, as well as the Union institutions, and this situation requires a strong and transparent conflict of interests policy in place;

13. Notes that personal conflicts of interests declarations are requested from the members of the Body’s Management Committee and the Board of Regulators, as well as from their staff members; notes that declarations of conflicts of interests of the members of the recruitment selection committees have been updated on the basis of recommendations from the Court of Auditors; calls on the Body to inform the discharge authority of whether it plans to review its conflict of interests arrangements on the basis of the above mentioned Commission’s Guidelines;

14. Observes that the CVs and declarations of interests of the members of the Management Committee, the Administrative Manager and senior management are not publicly available; calls on the Body to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency;

Internal audit

15. Deplores the fact that there are a number of outstanding issues as regards the internal controls, namely that:
– the Body has not yet implemented the Internal Control Standards (ICS) on Objectives and performance indicators (ICS 5), Process and procedures (ICS 8), Document management (ICS 11) and Information and Communication (ICS 12),
– there is no procedure regarding the registration and disposal of fixed assets, and no physical inventory has been performed,
– procedures concerning the establishment, approval and recording of exceptions and deviations from policies and procedures have not been implemented;
16. Calls on the Body to remedy that situation and to report on its progress by 1 September 2014;

Performance

17. Requests that the Body communicate the results and impact its work has on European citizens in an accessible way, mainly through its website;

o
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18. Refers, in respect of the other observations accompanying its Decision on discharge, which are of a horizontal nature, to its resolution of 3 April 2014(7) on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 9.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 337, 18.12.2009, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA-PROV(2014)0299.

U.S. agencies back DigitalGlobe bid to sell sharper images

Source – Reuters:

U.S. agencies back DigitalGlobe bid to sell sharper images
BY WARREN STROBEL AND ANDREA SHALAL
TAMPA/WASHINGTON Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:46pm EDT

(Reuters) – The U.S. intelligence community has thrown its support behind a bid by commercial space imagery providerDigitalGlobe Inc to sell higher resolution images from its satellites, the leading U.S. intelligence official said Tuesday.
DigitalGlobe has pressed the government for years to allow it to sell such imagery but U.S. government agencies worried that giving public access to them could undermine the intelligence advantage they have from even higher resolution satellite images. . . .[Full Story]

Federal Register: Extension of Effective Date for the Helicopter Air Ambulance, Commercial Helicopter, and Part 91 Helicopter Operations Final Rule

The FAA published Extension of Effective Date for the Helicopter Air Ambulance, Commercial Helicopter, and Part 91 Helicopter Operations Final Rule (PDF) in the Federal Register (78 Fed. Reg. 22009-22012):

SUMMARY: The FAA is delaying the effective date of the Helicopter Air Ambulance, Commercial Helicopter, and Part 91 Helicopter Operations final rule published on February 21, 2014. In that rule, the FAA amended its regulations to revise the helicopter air ambulance, commercial helicopter, and general aviation helicopter operating requirements. The April 22, 2014 effective date does not provide an adequate amount of time for the affected certificate holders to implement the new requirements. By extending the effective date to April 22, 2015, the affected certificate holders will have sufficient time to implement the new requirements. This action will only affect the effective date of the provisions of the rule scheduled to take effect April 22, 2014. Other provisions in the rule with specified compliance dates will not be affected.

European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012 (C7-0297/2013 – 2013/2219(DEC))

Source – European Parliament:

1.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012 (C7-0297/2013 – 2013/2219(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and in particular Article 60 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0221/2014),

1. Grants the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency discharge in respect of the implementation of the Agency’s budget for the financial year 2012;

2. Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3. Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the resolution that forms an integral part of it to the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 66.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 79, 19.3.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

2.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on the closure of the accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012 (C7-0297/2013 – 2013/2219(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and in particular Article 60 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0221/2014),

1. Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012;

2. Instructs its President to forward this Decision to the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 66.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 79, 19.3.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

3.European Parliament resolution of 3 April 2014 with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012 (C7-0297/2013 – 2013/2219(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to the Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and in particular Article 60 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to its previous discharge decisions and resolutions,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0221/2014),

A. whereas according to its financial statements, the final budget of the European Aviation Safety Agency (‘the Agency’) for the financial year 2012 was EUR 158 848 191, representing an increase of 7 % compared to 2011,

B. whereas the overall contribution of the Union to the Agency’s budget for 2012 amounted to EUR 38 651 354,83, representing an increase of 6,95 % compared to 2011,

C. whereas the Court of Auditors has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Agency’s annual accounts for the financial year 2012 are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

1. Highlights the Agency’s vital role in ensuring the highest possible level of aviation safety throughout Europe; notes, furthermore, that the current review of the Single European Sky legislation could lead to greater powers being accorded to the Agency; stresses that, should this be the case, the Agency will need to be given the financial, material and human resources it needs to perform its tasks successfully;

Follow-up of 2011 discharge

2. Notes from the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts that regarding the five comments made in 2011, two corrective actions taken in response to the previous year’s comments are marked as ‘ongoing’ and three as ‘completed’;

3. Acknowledges from the Agency that:
– the level of Title III carry-overs, excluding fees and charges, was considerably reduced in 2012 to EUR 6 200 000 (46 %),
– work instructions for both fixed assets management and inventory management have been adopted and a full inventory was carried out in 2012, which resulted in the disposal of a number of fully depreciated assets,
– in order not to hold cash funds in only one bank, a negotiated tender for opening bank accounts was launched in 2013, based on strict criteria as regards the credit rating of the prospective banks; notes that the selected bank has an excellent credit rating and once a contract is signed, the Agency’s cash funds will be transferred to this bank depending on the balance between credit risk and interest rate,
– measures and controls have been put in place to allow for the recruitment of the necessary experts from the industry, at the same time avoiding potential conflicts of interest situations; observes, moreover, that the conflicts of interest training is finalised and that regular training is put in place for newcomers;
Budget and financial management

4. Notes that the overall level of appropriations committed was 95 %, varying between 96 % for title I (staff expenditure), 95 % for title II (administrative expenditure) and 89 % for title III (operational expenditure);

5. Notes with concern that carry-overs of committed appropriations were high for title III at 46 %; stresses that, although this is partly justified by the multiannual nature of the Agency’s operations and by the duly justified carry-overs included in the Court of Auditors’ sample, nevertheless such a high level is at odds with the budgetary principle of annuality;

Transfers

6. Notes with satisfaction that according to the annual activity report as well as the Court of Auditors’ audit findings, the level and nature of transfers in 2012 have remained within the limits of the financial rules; commends the Agency for its good budgetary planning;

Procurement and recruitment procedures

7. Notes with concern that in one of the audited recruitment procedures, the selected candidate did not meet the requirements of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities as regards university degrees or equivalent professional training; calls on the Agency to provide an explanation as to how it could have happened;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

8. Welcomes the Agency’s adoption of the ‘cooling off period’ of non-assignment for a year, so that anyone new to the organisation is not allocated work on files they had directly worked on in the previous five years;

9. Notes that following the recommendation of the discharge authority, the Agency will include information and statistics on the management of conflicts of interests in its 2013 annual activity report;

10. Notes that the Agency is currently assessing the declarations of interests of managers and of person holding sensitive functions; regrets, however, that the CVs and declarations of interests of Management Board members and observers, as well as the declarations of interests of the Executive Director, are still not publicly available on the Agency’s website; calls on the Agency to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency;

11. Regrets the lack of information available on the Agency’s website regarding the members of the Board of Appeal; believes that the names, CVs and declarations of interests of those members should be made public; therefore, calls on the Agency to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency;

Internal controls

12. Notes with concern that while the Agency established a standard procedure for ex ante verifications, the related checklists were not completed and documentation justifying the validation of expenditure was not always available; calls on the Agency to take steps to rectify this and to report on its actions within the framework of the 2012 discharge follow-up;

13. Regrets the fact that although a methodology for ex post verifications was approved in 2009 and that the Agency made further developments in its implementation, room for improvement still exists in some areas, namely that there is still no annual planning of verifications, that the sample of transactions to be checked is not risk-based and that the methodology does not cover public procurement procedures; calls on the Agency to further improve its performance in this regard and to report on the progress made within the framework of the 2012 discharge follow-up;

Internal audit

14. Acknowledges from the Agency that in 2012, the Commission’s Internal Audit Service (IAS) performed a limited review of IT projects management, which led to two very important recommendations; notes that the IAS also carried out an assessment of the progress made by the Agency in implementing its recommendations resulting from its earlier audits (2006-2011); observes that the IAS confirmed that the Agency has adequately implemented 22 out of 23 recommendations, while the remaining one was reported by the Agency as implemented and waiting for final assessment by IAS;

Performance

15. Requests that the Agency communicate the results and impact its work has on European citizens in an accessible way, mainly through its website;

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16. Refers, in respect of the other observations accompanying its Decision on discharge, which are of a horizontal nature, to its resolution of 3 April 2014(7) on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 66.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 79, 19.3.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA-PROV(2014)0299.

Criticism of New French Debris Mitigation Law

Source – Space News:

French Debris-mitigation Law Could Pose Issue for Arianespace
By Peter B. de Selding | Apr. 10, 2014

PARIS — A new French space law designed to reduce orbital debris, and especially to prevent liability from rocket upper stages re-entering the atmosphere and causing injury or property damage, risks posing problems for commercial launch services provider Arianespace of France.

Industry officials said the Law on Space Operations, which forces French launch providers to direct the upper stages of their rockets into trajectories that will cause them to come down over water or to disintegrate immediately after launch, for now is a uniquely French contribution to global space jurisprudence.

As such, they said, the Arianespace consortium could lose business because its rockets will need to carry hundreds of kilograms of additional fuel to perform the direct-deorbit maneuver. Its competitors are operating under no equivalent constraints. . . .[Full Story]

B-409327.3, Evergreen Helicopters of Alaska, Inc., April 14, 2014

Source – GAO:

B-409327.3, Evergreen Helicopters of Alaska, Inc., April 14, 2014

http://www.gao.gov/products/B-409327.3

Evergreen Helicopters of Alaska, Inc. (EHA), of McMinnville, Oregon, challenges the terms of an evaluation notice (EN) issued by the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) under request for proposals (RFP) No. HTC711-13-R-R016 for the acquisition of fixed-wing aircraft services in the central region of Africa. The EN, issued as part of agency corrective action, requires offerors to submit performance data charts for proposed aircraft, but otherwise prohibits revision of proposals. EHA argues that the EN constitutes an amendment to the solicitation and, as a result, EHA should be permitted to revise any aspect of its proposal, including its price proposal.

We deny the protest.

NASA-SpaceX Sign Launch Pad Agreement

Source – Space Newsfeed:

NASA signs agreement with SpaceX for use of historic launch pad

(15 April 2014) NASA Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site.

NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for use and occupancy of the seaside complex along Florida’s central east coast. It will serve as a platform for SpaceX to support their commercial launch activities. . . .[Full Story]

India to Overhaul Satcom Policy

Source – Economic Times:

Department of Space, DoT to overhaul satellite communications policy
Kalyan Parbat, ET Bureau Apr 19, 2014, 02.22AM IST

KOLKATA: The Department of Space in consultations with the telecom department (DoT)_will shortly overhaul India’s 17-year old satellite communications policy to pave the way for auctioning satellite bandwidth. It will also frame new rules for allocating and pricing satellite transponders and explore ways to deal with applications seeking use of foreign orbital slots, according to a finance ministry note seen by ET. . . [Full Story]