Unlike the first occasion that van Buitenen made claims about fraud and mismanagement, which resulted in him being suspended from office, this time the Belgian official was given eight week’s grace from regular duties and a special office and equipment to compile his brief.
This brief, (plus 5,000 pages of annexes), has now been analysed by OLAF and Brussels’ directorate general for administration. Their officials met late last month to decide how to follow up van Buitenen’s concerns; a decision is awaited.
In 1999 Van Buitenen, then an internal auditor at the commission, was suspended and risked losing his job after leaking information to the European Parliament on alleged fraud and mismanagement in the Brussels-based executive.
Following nine months of disciplinary proceedings, an internal review panel ruled that Van Buitenen had broken commission rules.
In the same year, he was voted the Accountancy Age Personality of the Year.