The committee delayed approving progress on a draft EU regulation on mutual assistance designed to protect the financial interests of the Community against fraud and other illegal activities until it had received a government statement on the issue.
The MPs objected that the directive appeared to impose a uniform rule on the admissibility of evidence, including in criminal proceedings, in possible contravention of a bar on measures concerning the application of national criminal law or the administration of justice.
The draft would require the findings, certificates, information and documents certified true copies, and any intelligence communicated to a competent authority to be treated as admissible evidence in administrative or judicial proceedings in any member state.
They welcomed an earlier pledge by Financial Secretary Stephen Timms to ensure the regulations do not infringe taxpayer confidentiality.
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Dr Richard Willis provides a several thousand-year history lesson of the profession, from origin to modern-day