The former director of Eurostat Yves Franchet, who was suspended in May this year following a financial scandal at the EU statistics office, says the Commission had all his internal audit reports since February 2000.
In a letter, signed by his lawyers, Mr Franchet, said that he never hid information from the Commission. He underlined that the Commission never commented the internal audit reports it had received from him and which now form the basis for the allegations of fraud within the Eurostat, under investigation by the EU's anti corruption body, OLAF. "None of these reports leads to the conclusion that European public funds allocated to Eurostat have been diverted towards uses not linked to Eurostat," says the statement from Mr Franchet.
Commissioners responsible for Eurostat and the EU's budget, Pedro Solbes and Michaele Schreyer, say they were unaware of any problems at Eurostat until the scandal broke out this spring in the European media. Eurostat's leadership is suspected of redirecting public money into private bank accounts through fictitious contracts.
Commission President Romano Prodi has been called to clarify the case in front of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament on 25 September (see also