Commission and UK officials have confirmed that next week the Director-General for Regional Policy Graham Meadows will write to the UK authorities highlighting weak audit controls over spending in 2005 by payment agencies in England. The UK will have six weeks to convince the Commission that it has taken appropriate steps to address the shortcomings. But if it fails to do so, the Commission can suspend payments until the problems are resolved.Message - if you are going to mess with the Commission, you shouldn't be surprised when they mess with you.
The structural funds problems come on top of difficulties with Common Agricultural Policy payments. The UK’s Rural Payments Agency, which administers the EU’s single payments scheme is in disarray. The UK’s National Audit Office warned last month that errors and procedural mistakes were likely to lead the European Commission to disallow substantial amounts of EU funding, forcing the UK government to foot the bill.
...The warning on structural funds will be a further embarrassment for the British government which this week announced strengthened audits of how it spends EU funds, following similar pledges by the Dutch and Danish governments.
Friday, November 24, 2006
The Commission strikes back
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Posted by Open Europe blog team at 9:23 a.m.