It says as a result it ‘cannot provide assurances the transactions underlying the financial statements are legal and regular except as regards own resources, the commitments and the institutions? staff expenditure.’
The annual audit of the EU?s books has exposed ‘weaknesses’ in accounting systems and procedures with information presented that is in some cases ‘incomplete or incorrect.’
The findings will come as a further embarrassment to EU chiefs as they gather for its annual summit in Nice this week to discuss a wide range of controversial subjects.
But the Court warns against interpreting errors as indications of fraud, saying mistakes were ‘mainly those of inadequate financial management.’
Most errors occur in public programmes managed by member states and particularly concern such things as overpayments to farmers. Only a small proportion of the breaches justified further investigation by the EU or national authorities, the Court said.
Last year was a critical one for the EU. The disclosure of serious weaknesses in financial transactions, following exposure by whistleblower Paul van Buitenen, led to the resignation of the Commission in March and its replacement by a new team dedicated to stamping out abuses and inefficiency.
The Court said the reform programme set in motion by the new Commission ‘constitutes a positive response to the weaknesses in financial management and control.’P>’For the reforms to work, changes are needed in the management culture, which will take time,’ said the Court.
New growth opportunities in Aberdeen, North East Scotland, are being invested in by Grant Thornton
If businesses do not take cyber security seriously in their business planning regulators may do it for them, the ICAEW has warned
The Financial Reporting Council has issued guidance regarding the annual reporting of 1,200 large and smaller listed companies. The letter highlighted the key issues and improvements that can be made in the 2016 reporting season
Deloitte's north-west Europe foray; BDO, Smith & Williamson investment paths; Shelley Stock Hutter; and Wilkins Kennedy discussed by editor Kevin Reed on our Friday Afternoon Live broadcast