PracticeAuditKinnock’s position more secure

Kinnock's position more secure

The threat to the political future of Neil Kinnock seemed to have ebbedlast night, with the author of a memorandum highly critical of theEuropean Commission's accounting system saying (on Tuesday) that therehad been a 'paradigm shift' to improve the system since he reportedlast year.

Link: Kinnock’s future still uncertain

Jules Muis, the Commission’s audit chief, had earlierreported ‘serious weaknesses’ in accounting procedures, confirmingcriticisms made originally by its former chief accountant MartaAndreason, who was suspended from her post by Kinnock, Commissionvice-president, last year.

Muis did not specifically disavow his earlier comments when heappeared before the Budgetary Control committee of the EuropeanParliament but said they no longer applied as ‘things have moved on alot in the past year.’

The EU budget commissioner Michaele Schreyeralso told MEPs the Commission was now ‘well on course’ to introduceaccrual accounting procedures in 2005 as part of the major reforms setin train four years ago.

Kinnock tried to mollify his critics,telling the committee that Marta Andreason had been ‘very professional’and had taken care never to allege fraud but had been moved from herpost because of a break-down in relations.

Parliament officials said there was now a feeling that the Andreasonaffair should be put to one side. It was now “quite probable” that thecommittee would recommend discharge of the Commission’s 2001 budgetwhen it votes tomorrow (Thursday), although the result is by no meanscertain.

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