Brussels defends spending methods

Brussels defends spending methods

European Commission senior official says spending of money in the EU is 'tight'

The European
Commission’s
vice-president of audit, administration and anti-fraud,
Siim Kallas, has defended the
organisation’s method of running its financial affairs amidst rumours that its
accounts will again be qualified.

The Times reported that the
European Court of
Auditors
is to once more qualify its opinion in relation to the EU’s
spending.

The Commission is also set to criticise the auditor’s procedures, believed to
be riddled with error and fraud.

But Kallas said the perception of widespread fraud was based on a myth, and
that the Commission is being held to account for a failure by national
governments to audit properly their own handling of EU funds.

The Commission recovered €2.17bn (?1.45bn) in 2005, but the auditor said this
still did not reduce the rate of error.

‘If you lose your wallet and you get it back with the money inside, the
problem is over,’ said Kallas.

‘This [perception of widespread error and fraud] is highly unfair. The
spending of money in the EU is under tight control.’

Further reading

Anti-fraud unit to have its wings
clipped

Brüner reappointed director-general of OLAF

OLAF director speaks out after
controversial vote

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