Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some details

At last we are getting some details about the Galvin Report into Parliamentary Secretarial Allowances. Paul Van Buitenen, the whistleblower's whistleblower is on the Budgetary Control Committee, has wandered into the secret room, and with that forensic mind of his has produced a report on the report. Talking to him yesterday he advised me to go his website. In five pages (pdf) he details the various scams that have been going on.

Claims by the institutions that there was only one MEP involved and that MEP had retired are comprehensively debunked.

1. Payment of full allowance to a service provider with only one accredited assistant (1 case),
2. Payment of full allowance to a service provider with no accredited assistants (2 cases),
3. Payment of allowance to a company with no activity shown in annual
accounts (1 case),
4. Payment of allowance to service provider with irrelevant activities, such as the provision of child care and the trading of wood. (2 cases).

Some of these items are very dodgy indeed.

In the light of the EU's huge problems with VAT fraud, the following details are interesting,

Service Contract: social security, taxes and invoices
For 79% of the audited payments (122 of 155) to which the VAT rules apply, no evidence was found for registration for VAT or exemption from VAT.
For 90% of the audited contracts (44 of 49) for individual self-employed providers, no evidence was found of coverage by a social security scheme.
A company contracted by a member provided full details such as VAT number, legal form and address. However there are serious doubts about the existence of this company:
-The VAT number could not be confirmed through the EC taxation and customs Union website,
-The company's name could not be found in the applicable national company register,
-The telephone number appeared to belong to another company at another address,
-The company's legal representative lived at a considerable distance from the company location.

Another Member contracted two individuals for assistance. The task descriptions were very vague and there was no evidence of a self employed status of these individuals. The Member appeared to be a director of a consultancy company in investments and the two contracted individuals appeared to be senior managers in that same company.

Another Member contracted an individual with the same name of that of his wife. His wife's professional activity appeared not to be one of a self-employed service provider.
Any claims by the Parliament that there is no fraud seem to be spurious, at the very least there has to be a serious investigation into these potential abuses.

Bruno Waterfield has blogged this at length here, and brings out a correspondence between Nigel Farage and Hans-Gert Pöttering that follows up my suggestion that somebody must be in breech of the staff regulations.

And remember only 167 payments were considered out of a total 4,700, and all this was discovered.

No comments: