Governance of EU-OSHA

Governance is the process of setting strategic goals and direction, and ensuring accountability.

EU-OSHA is a tripartite organisation that is committed to good governance. Good governance includes a number of elements, such as openness and responsiveness, transparency, compliance, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability.

As an EU agency, the Management Board and its Executive Board together with the Executive Director play a fundamental role in implementing the principles of good governance.

Why governance matters

Good governance ensures that the Agency’s activities reflect the broader interests, meet the stakeholders’ expectations and are relevant for those affected. It ensures that human and financial resources to achieve the objectives are allocated efficiently and effectively. By enhancing transparency, good governance fosters accountability towards stakeholders and EU citizens.

The following sections describe how EU-OSHA achieves good governance.

Key decision makers

The Executive Director: The Management Board appoints the Executive Director of the Agency in accordance with the founding regulation. The term of office is five years and can be renewed only once.

The Management Board: The Management Board sets the Agency’s strategies and goals and holds the Executive Director accountable. It includes representatives from EU Member States from:

  • Governments
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • As well as representatives from the European Commission

The European Parliament appoints an independent expert without right to vote.

Representatives from the EEA-EFTA countries and representatives from some other EU Agencies are also sitting at the Management Board as observers.

The role of the Chairperson of the Management Board rotates among the representatives of the three interest groups of governments, employers and workers.

The Executive Board: This is a smaller steering group drawn from the membership of the Management Board. It oversees the preparation and implementation of Management Board decisions.

Advisory groups provide the Agency with strategic guidance and feedback on our work. Their members are appointed by the Management Board and include individuals from workers’ and employers’ groups and government.

Achieving transparency and accountability

Transparency is a pre-requisite of accountability.

To ensure transparency, the Agency makes key documents publicly available. These include the corporate strategy, the programming documents and the activity reports, the annual budgets, accounts and reports of the Court of Auditors.

The Executive Director, senior staff and members of the Management Board have to declare their interests (Read EU-OSHA’s policy on conflicts of interest). The minutes of the meetings of the Management Board are publicly available.

A number of accountability arrangements are in place.

As Authorising Officer, the Executive Director has to get a discharge in relation to the implementation of the budget from the European Parliament upon a recommendation from the Council.

The Management Board also plays a major role adopting the Consolidated annual activity report and delivering an opinion on the annual accounts. Furthermore, the Management Board decides on appointment and renewal of the Executive Director. The Management Board also adopts the Agency’s corporate strategy, programming documents and annual budgets.

The Agency relies on an Internal Control Framework aimed to ensure the achievement of its control objectives. As a result, the Agency established the organizational structure and the internal control systems that are in line with the framework and with the risk environment in which it operates.

As part of the internal control systems in place to ensure legality and regularity, the Agency implements specific measures to prevent and detect fraudulent behaviours, including an anti-fraud strategy.

EU-OSHA is subject to internal and external audits providing independent advice, opinions and recommendations on the quality and functioning of internal control systems and on the Agency’s compliance with EU financial and other regulations.

The Management Board adopted the European Code of Good Administrative Behaviour.

The Management Board had agreed a set of good practices for Management Board members.

See the membership of the Management Board and Executive Board and learn more about their role.