Conservative MEPs Launch Inquiry into EU Chief Accountant's Credentials

Local Conservative MEP, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins MEP, for the North West Region, has written to EU Commissioner Neil Kinnock demanding to know whether the EU's Chief Accounting Officer, Marc Oostens, who is in charge of the euro98 billion EU budget, has any professional accounting qualifications. Mr Oosten's CV, seen by Sir Robert, states that he is a trained Commercial Engineer.

Sir Robert has been campaigning to ensure action is taken to stem the loss of millions of pounds that simply disappear every year from the European Parliament's budget.

Last month Mr Kinnock was severely criticised for his failure to support Marta Andreasen, the then Chief Accountant to the European Commission, when she alerted him to a massive and fundamental failure of the Commission to meet even the most basic accounting practices.

Faced with either addressing the concerns of his Chief Accountant, or ignoring them, Neil Kinnock has done the latter. He then oversaw the gagging of Ms Andreasen and removed her from her post. This outraged Sir Robert and his Conservative colleagues in the European Parliament.

However, it is Commissioner Kinnock's latest step that has surprised many MEPs, including Sir Robert.

"Having overseen the gagging and then the removal of Ms Andreasen from her post, Commissioner Kinnock has now overseen the appointment of her successor. He is in charge of the €98 billion EU budget, all of it taxpayers' money. Amazingly, it seems that he has no professional qualification in accounting and is a qualified commercial engineer!

I have written to Commissioner Kinnock to demand to know whether Mr Oostens has any professional accounting qualifications at all. If not, Mr Oosten's appointment will show how little Neil Kinnock cares about tackling euro fraud. It comes just weeks after telling the European Parliament that he would 'vigorously pursue administrative reforms' and it makes a mockery of his pledge", says Sir Robert Atkins.

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