PracticeAuditCommission calls for more stringent EU audits

Commission calls for more stringent EU audits

Tougher rules on transparency and audits for the EU’s 864bn euros (£592bn) 2007-13 budget have been tabled by the European Commission

In proposed changes to the EU’s financial regulation – its accounting
rulebook – Brussels has continued to press member states to release more
information on spending under shared European-national management. The
commission has proposed: ‘Member states shall submit to the commission an annual
summary of the available audits and declarations in relation to funds under
shared management.’

In its suggested text, Brussels said: ‘Controls carried out by the commission
in decentralised or indirect centralised management and, where appropriate, in
shared management should be reinforced.’ Such rules would cover key agricultural
and regional aid spending.

This, the EU financial watchdog the Court of Auditors has regularly claimed,
is riddled with inconsistencies and corruption, and the commission wants tougher
audits.

Also, accounting officers charged with certifying EU accounts ‘should be
empowered to check the information received by the authorising officer… and to
enter reservations, if necessary’, under the commission’s suggested amendments.

These have been made under the EU’s co-decision procedure, where the
agreement of both the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers is
required. Ministers and MEPs have already made their own changes to the system,
and these and the commission’s proposals will now be debated again.

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