MEPs refuse to approve police college accounts
The European Parliament’s budgetary control committee has refused to approve the 2008 accounts of the European Police College (Cepol), citing a lack of progress in improving financial management.
The committee on Monday (27 September) unanimously approved a report written by Véronique Mathieu, a French centre-right MEP, which criticised the agency for failing to implement requested reforms to clean up the way it spends taxpayers’ money.
The report said it was “unacceptable” that the college had “struggled to meet the standards of good administration”. It cited continual problems with the agency’s failure to adhere to the EU’s financial and staff regulations and the EU’s accounting standards. It also said that the Parliament should not accept that the college needed at least nine years, or until 2014, to reach EU administration standards.
MEPs postponed a discharge decision on Cepol in May to give it more time to come up with a plan to improve its financial management. But the report said the new plan put forward by the college’s board was “vague” on how the changes would help to meet objectives of improving its administration.
“We asked for an implementation plan that was adopted by the governing board and had been subject to a professional assessment…these requests have not been respected,” said Mathieu.
An investigation carried out by the European Commission’s anti-fraud office and the EU’s Court of Auditors, which was concluded last year, found widespread abuse of EU funds by Cepol.
If found that the agency had inappropriately used EU money to purchase two cars used by employees for private purposes and to furnish accommodation rented by some of its staff in 2008.
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Cepol, based in the UK, organises joint training for Europe’s senior police officers. It started work on 1 January, 2006.
A full vote on the committee’s recommendation by the Parliament not to grant discharge for the agency’s 2008 budget is expected on 6-7 October.