Eurostat: Parliament digs deeper; OLAF under fire

The Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee
heard on 4 November the final report by the EU’s internal
auditor on the irregularities in its statistics office,


The internal auditor, Mr Jules Muis, told MEPs that there
were "big problems" at the EU's statistics office with
black accounts on hundreds of past contracts. The MEPs
reacted with dismay at the lack of transparency and
documentation. In December, the Budget Control Committee
will have to decide what action to take as a result of
these irregularities.

In the same parliamentary committee,
OLAF, the EU's anti-fraud office came under fire in another
report, drafted by MEP Herbert Bösch (PES, Austria).
According to the MEP, OLAF has repeatedly failed to provide
adequate protection for the people affected by its
enquiries, and its communications policies were
inconsistent. The MEPs said that while OLAF demands silence
from the institutions being investigated, it continues to
divulge information to the media.

The committee demanded that an audit be
carried out at OLAF by January 2004 to assess the
effectiveness of its investigations. The audit should be
conducted and supervised by a five-member Supervisory
Committee, the MEPs said. The Budgetary Committee also said
that OLAF should draft recommendations for thorough
investigations of any inadequate administrative structures,
and should advertise the post of Director of OLAF in the
spring of 2004 (see also EURACTIV

10 September




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