Wales signs first EU open audit pledge

Welsh public authorities have signed the European Union’s (EU) first
‘Contract of Confidence’, committing them to high auditing standards for their
spending of EU regional aid funds.

The deal was signed with the European Commission and means Brussels must be
satisfied with the auditing until 2008 of these ‘structural fund’ projects in
Wales, overseen by the Welsh assembly and local authorities.

The Commission will assess ‘the effective functioning of the management and
control system, the audit strategy and the quality of the annual control
report’. The contract was signed at a public finance audit meeting in Warsaw,
and will be followed by similar agreements with other EU regions and member

EU regional development Commissioner Danuta Hübner said the initiative was ‘a
concrete manifestation of the “single audit” approach’. Labour MEP Glenys
Kinnock called it a ‘vote of confidence’ in Wales’ ‘management of EU funds’.

Some £1.5bn of EU regional funding has been spent in Wales since 2000.

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