Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The lady vanishes, as does reference to fraud.

A fascinating document has just come my way. One of the lesser known agencies of the European Union is something called the European Economic and Social Committee. It is currently meeting in the European Parliament, costs great packets of cash, and does... well nobody is really sure what it does.
However last week it had its knuckles rapped by the fraud office OLAF for fraud. Here is the press release put out buy the EESC. However what was sent to me was not the press release, but the press release including the track changes before release.

So what used to say
"there is strong prima facie evidence that the fraudulent practice of ‘double reimbursement’ occurred;"
"there is strong prima facie evidence that the practice of ‘double reimbursement’ occurred;"

And to spare the President of EESC, Anne-Marie Sigmund, political blushes, the OLAF report which was sent,
"to the President and the Secretary General of the European Economic and Social Committee ",
" to the Secretary General of the European Economic and Social Committee"

Of course the reference to,
"alleg ed fraudulent behaviour by a member of the Committee".
"allegations made about a member of the Committee".

This comes at a time when according to Agence Europe (5 Jan 2004) - sub required

"In April 2004, the European Parliament gave smooth discharge to the EESC's implementation of its 2002 budget, thanking the EESC for transmitting to the EP details of internal measures governing the execution of its budget, and the mission statement of its internal auditor. In its resolution, the EP said it took note of the assurances given by the EESC that no irregularities had occurred in the travel expense accounts."

Which of course is now known to have been fraudulent, both the accounts and the transmission of them by the EESC - so what happens next? Will Parliament block the EESC budget?

Will it hell.

No comments: