Fraud – Call for European National Audit Office

The Commons all-party public accounts committee will this summer propose a new audit regime for the European Commission after a visit to Brussels left its members ‘staggered by the scale of the problem’ of fraud and mismanagement.

The move follows a three-day fact-finding tour which was prompted by the resignation of the entire commission earlier this year over allegations of corruption and mismanagement. The group is to consult with Comptroller and Auditor General Sir John Bourn and the National Audit Office on how best to tighten up audit in EU institutions.

The committee will produce a report in the summer and is likely to recommend a European version of the NAO. There may be some scope for using private-sector accountants in the new regime.

PAC chairman David Davis said: ‘Urgent action is needed if the culture of complacency is to be replaced with a culture of accountability. The committee will now be considering in detail constructive suggestions for improvement’.

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