Committee of Public Accounts Press Notice

A STATEMENT FROM EDWARD LEIGH MP

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

National Audit Office report: Financial Management of the European Union

There is some evidence that the financial management of European Union funds is beginning to improve. And the Commission has succeeded for the first time in producing commercial-style accounts. But the fact remains that, for the twelfth year in succession, the European auditors have placed a question mark over the legality and regularity of European Community expenditure. And cleared accounts still seem a distant prospect.

It is essential that national parliaments and the taxpayers within the Member States have a clear sight of how the EU funds being spent in their countries are being used and where they go. As a result of pressure from the PAC to improve financial management of EU funds the UK government is producing a statement of assurance for such expenditure which will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General. This is a new departure which will give us much greater control.

The UK government must keep the pressure up on other Member States to play their part in improving the level of scrutiny and assurance they provide for the use of EU money.

Notes for Editors

Requests for further comment from Edward Leigh should be made via Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589 or 07917 488 488.