2013 saw the delivery of a considerable work programme and steady progress on several fronts. More than 600 scientific outputs were issued covering the entire scope of the food chain which enabled evidence-based decisions to be taken to protect EU citizenship. Alongside the planned scientific outputs, EFSA continued to deliver urgent advice on important public health risks including hepatitis A, Salmonella Mikawasima, phenylbutazone in horsemeat and Xylella fastidiosa in olive trees. With the prospect of continuing resource restriction, EFSA continued to improve its efficiency and financial performance and recorded the execution of 99% of its budget. A project management approach was successfully introduced and the central role of planning and performance management was established. The streamlining of working processes, the reorganisation of the Risk Assessment & Scientific Assistance Department, and the completion of the first phase of the quality management systems did all make a valuable contribution to the performance of the organisation. EFSA’s Applications Helpdesk strengthened interactions with applicants and stakeholders and is working towards establishing an electronic application management system. EFSA launched a major initiative aimed at promoting access to data and transparency in risk assessment. The initiative was supported by the Stakeholder Consultative Platform’s Discussion Group on Process Transparency and Information Access which met twice during 2013.