March 7, 2008
An important responsibility of the European Parliament is to oversee the Commission’s expenditure and indeed the Santer Commission was forced to resign due to alleged financial irregularities.
MEPs have, however, refused to publish how much they pay their staff and claim on expenses, contrary to the recommendation of the European Ombudsman. Ironically, the Ombudsman is appointed by Parliament to investigate complaints of maladministration in the activities of the EU institutions.
Parliament has refused to publish a confidential internal audit report into the employment of members’ assistants revealing widespread malpractice but. This is hardly the responsible conduct of an overseer of Commission financial conduct nor is it consistent with the spirit of transparency.
While there may be reservations over negative publicity ahead of the 2009 Parliamentary elections, this behaviour is likely to make the ultimate publicity even worse.Author : Stanley Crossick