EC to face ‘tougher’ accounting rules

Brussels Financial Regulation

is the rule-book governing the commission’s accounting practices, and has been under review since 1999.

In its latest formal proposals for change, the commission has suggested:

‘Establishing a formal deadline of March 31 for the presentation of annual accounts compared with May 1, at present. The idea is to allow EU watchdog, the Court of Auditors, to report by October 31, giving the EuropeanParliament more time to discharge the accounts;

‘Creating a legal obligation for the spending rules of the commission’s various spending departments to comply with the principles of the financial regulation; at present there is a lack of uniformity, which can cause accounting problems;

‘Tightening internal controls within departments, ensuring that procedures operated by spending authorising officers to comply with modern control standards. A panel would also assist officials policing the liability of these authorising officers.’

The proposals will now be forwarded to the European Union Council ofMinisters, and must be unanimously agreed upon for them to be accepted.

EU leaders have already said this should happen next year. The new proposals amend a comprehensive package of reforms, already welcomed by the parliament.

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