PracticeAuditAuditors find ‘weaknesses’ in EU accounts

Auditors find 'weaknesses' in EU accounts

The European Court of Auditors has once again found 'persistent weaknesses' in the annual accounts of the EU Commission.

Link: SFO considers EU accounts case

It also insists that ‘greater efficiency is needed in the supervisory systems and controls for EU funds managed jointly by the Commission, the member states, the beneficiary states and other bodies.’ These totalled 70 billion euros in 2003.

In a highly critical report that casts doubt on many of the accounting reforms supposedly made over the past year, the Court says that payments ‘are still affected by the same type of errors occurring with the same frequency as in previous years’, and that in the area of internal policies, ‘the improvements noted in the supervisory systems and controls are still not sufficient to prevent significant errors in the legality and regularity of payments.’

The Court says it is ‘particularly concerned’ about internal control and the internal audit capability within each Directorate-General of the Commission, saying that ‘reservations about the operational aspect of the controls -expressed by some, contradict their declaration about the effectiveness of the control system.’

The auditors say that while some progress has been made with new controls ‘the results are not entirely satisfactory’ and the reports and declarations ‘still cannot serve as a useful basis for the Court’s audit conclusions’.

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