With the EU having been criticised by its own Court of Auditors for its accounting of the handouts it gives to farmers, academics and other groups, on the basis either of fraud or inaccurately filed paperwork, every year since the reports began in 1994, the treatment of whistleblower Marta Andreasen by the EuroNabobery continues to offend.

Ms. Andreasen, it may be recalled, began working in January 2002 for the Union as the first professional accountant to be appointed as Chief Accountant (“budget execution director and accounting officer”). She lasted just five months in post.

Upon her arrival she was alarmed initially to discover that the Union’s accounting department used Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheets rather than professional accounting software. Excel, as anyone who has used it will realize, is wide open to abuse as entries may be altered without any trace.

In addition she found that standard “double book-keeping accountancy” which is the bedrock of book-keeping world wide and, indeed, mandatory for private companies under Union standards was not the norm for EU institutions. She also criticized the EU’s accounting system for being open to fraud.

Mrs Andreasen quite properly raised her concerns and made proposals for fundamental and far-reaching reforms and long overdue improvements through the normal channels but was soon aware that her superiors were off into stonewall mode. So she wrote a report on what she had found for Commissioner Michaele Schreyer and the Commission President Romano Prodi. Upon again received no satisfactory response she approached members of the Union Parliament’s Budget Control Committee.

In part as a result of what she had found, she refused to sign off the 2001 European Commission accounts. There was nothing new in this itself: as we have seen the Union’s accounts have not been signed off since 1994. The EU’s Court of Auditors can only fully validate 5% of the money spent and have criticized the system every year since 1994. The allegations being made by Ms. Andreasen were, however, a new gloss on this appalling state of affairs.

The media’s noses began to twitch and they started digging around. Meanwhile Ms. Andreasen went public with her concerns in the first week of February 2002.

The EuroNabobery were clearly afraid of where this all might lead: someone was threatening to show everyone where the bodies were buried and that was clearly not in their interest. After all, there were so many clients to keep happy. So, in May 2002, Ms. Andreasen was first suspended and later (in 2005) sacked by the EuroNabobery, in the form of our very own Lord Kinnock, then still a EuroNabob of the highest order and now a Peer of the Realm in receipt of a very substantial Fat Cat Pension from the Union.

Now you or I might think that anything which might help track down fraud and misappropriation of Taxpayer’s money is a good thing. The Union plainly disagrees with that: it no more wants you to know what happens to your money than it wants you to understand the Treaty of Lisbon. So it took action against her in what can only be described as a Kafkaesque manner, for “violating Articles 12 and 21 of staff regulations”, to wit having failed to show sufficient loyalty and respect to her superiors. Over the last couple of years she has been pursuing the Union for having been wrongly dismissed, but now the Union’s own Civil Service tribunal has found against her.

So much then for “openness and transparency”, words beloved of the Union’s very own Goebbels imitators but honoured only in the breach by all and sundry who really do not want any such thing when it comes to the accounts. The future for whistleblowers is therefore very poor if they choose to be in the lest bit open about these things. As Ms. Andreasen said:

“It is pretty clear that people will know that if they open their mouth and make any criticism, even strictly professional as I did, they will pay a high price. They will have to prepare to be dismissed and to have no defence.”

“It is unbelievable for me that the judges would find it admissible that the chief accountant of the commission can be sacked merely for stating clearly what the Court of Auditors has done every year for more than a decade.”

The Union Commission puts a higher price on ‘to respect, trust and loyalty’ from its employees than it does on ensuring that Taxpayers’ money is properly spent and is not looted wholesale. The message: “keep very quiet and never, ever, rock the boat”.

Meanwhile the thievery goes on, as the accounts are expected to fail to pass muster yet again and now that any would be thief-taker knows what will happen to them if they try and disturb the activities of the EuroLooters, is likely to continue for ever and a day.

In an intriguing move Ms. Andreasen has become UKIP’s Treasurer. Given the party’s lacklustre year and concerns being expressed over its finances, despite the perky presence of Nigel Farage as leader, this lady’s arrival will help to steady the ship. Is it perhaps a prelude to her standing for the Union Parliament on the UKIP ticket? That might well put the cat amongst some of the Union’s fat, sleek and well-fed pigeons.

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