Holding the EU to account...and new issues at home

Eye Last week we blogged on how the EU has not signed off its own accounts for well over a decade and had sacked former accountant Marta Andreasen for saying the EU was rife with “slush funds and fraud”.


On urging our activists to ask their MEP’s why the EU hadn’t signed off their accounts and what they were going to do about it, TPA activist Graeme Pirie got this reply:


“Thank you for your e-mail regarding the EU accounts, to which I also reply on behalf of my two West Midlands Conservative MEP colleagues Philip Bradbourn and Malcolm Harbour.


There are two main problems with the accounts. One is that 80% of the expenditure is actually the responsibility of Member States, both to implement and then report back, and a number of countries are either late and/or inaccurate in their returns – knowing that it is always the Commission that will get the blame.


Another is that there is too much money sloshing around in too many separate budgets in the first place: Conservatives believe that the EU should do less and do it better.


Meanwhile, it is curious that while our own UK Audit Office has not signed off the UK Works and Pensions budget for any single year since Labour came to power, this never seems to hit any headlines. It is however a symptom of exactly the same problem as the EU: too much money in too many pots.


A change of UK Government could help address all these issues


Every good wish


Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP
Conservative - West Midlands Region”


The reply raises some interesting points:  Why hasn’t the DWP budget been signed off by the UK Audit Office for the last ten years?


It’s time we asked them!  Email me and I will send you our Freedom of Information template letter.  Then simply fill in the blanks with your request and ask the DWP when their departmental budget was last signed off by the UK Audit Office.  If it appears Mr. Bushill-Matthews is right and they haven't been cleared by the Audit Office in the last decade, we can then ask the DWP why they haven’t signed off the accounts for almost as long as the EU. Hopefully then we can expose the flaws in this government’s own accounting as well as keeping up the pressure on the EU


Contact: Charles Cushing
Department for Work and Pensions
Adjudication and Constitutional Issues Policy Division
Freedom of Information and Data Protection
2nd Floor, The Adelphi
1 - 11 John Adam Street
Tel: 020 7962 8581
Fax: 020 7962 8725
e-mail: [email protected]

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