The European Union is very sensitive to the suggestion that
its accounts have been ‘qualified’.
Newspapers have to tiptoe around the issue, saying they have
‘failed the test’ and that the underlying transactions did not get a positive
statement of assurance.
So senior EU figures were more than a little cheesed off
this time round when the Court of Auditors, which audits the EU, itself used the term.
Giving its formal opinion, the Court said in one document: ‘With
regard to budget aid, and without further qualifying the above audit opinion,
the Court’s audit revealed that the Commission’s disbursement decisions do not
demonstrate in a sufficiently formal and structured manner that there is
compliance with the Cotonou Agreement.’
Ignore the EU speak and focus on the ‘Q’ word.
Brian Gray, the EC’s chief accounting officer, told TS he
was ‘irritated’ by the use of the ‘Q’ word.
Don’t you dare use it yourself when discussing the issue.
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