I got this email from a list. This level of incompetence and fraud is shocking, and to think that they are doing this with our money. Bleah.
Subject: Re: EU audit
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2010 10:46:10 +0100
Perhaps I can clarify things a little...
The only part of the EU's spending which is audited and signed off
is the part handled directly by the Commission, and that includes
the cost of the European Parliament. It accounts for less than 10%
of the total.
All the rest comes under what is absurdly known as "shared
management", on which I have waxed lyrical more than once in years
past. Effectively, the EU decides to give money for a project in a
member state or in a candidate country and then expects that
country's government to account for it properly, having added an
agreed percentage to the total cost of whatever is being
funded. (Example, Greece, whose application for subsidies for its
olive groves covers such a large land mass that it can only mean
that olives are grown in the middle of Athens and in the Aegean
Sea. Everybody in Brussels knows it is a scam and they have never
done anything to stop it.)
The Court of Auditors, another poodle of the EU and made up of
appointees from the member states (many of whom are not qualified
accountants, by the way), then supposedly checks on the information
provided, sends staff to a handful of locations to verify the
"facts", and then decides there are too many errors and
unsubstantiated sets of accounts for them to sign off the whole lot.
Added to which, when the EU switched from single-entry book-keeping
to double-entry in 2005 they were unable to agree the closing
balances on the existing accounts, which meant that there were no
opening balances under the new system!
So, in reality, they can NEVER sign off the accounts because they
never knew where they were starting from.
Hope that helps
(MEP 2004-2009, and member of the EP's Budget Control Committee
throughout that time)
PS: Double-entry book-keeping was the invention of an Italian monk
some 1500 years ago. Quite why it took the EU until 2005 to catch
up has never been explained.