Select Committee on European Union Fiftieth Report


The Sub-Committee, under the Chairmanship of Lord Radice, has decided to conduct an inquiry into the mechanisms to manage and audit the revenue and expenditure of the European Communities. The Sub-Committee will be identifying the fundamental problems which have led to 11 successive years in which the European Court of Auditors has not issued a positive statement of assurance on the accounts. The inquiry will seek to answer the following key questions:

  • What are the fundamental problems that have led to 11 successive years in which the accounts have not been given a positive statement of assurance?
  • Are the mechanisms which have been suggested by the Commission to improve management of the budget appropriate?
  • Are these mechanisms likely to lead to a positive statement of assurance on a set of accounts by the end of the tenure of the Barroso Commission?
  • Are there further steps which need to be taken?
  • Can lessons be learnt from the accounting procedures and practices in other countries?
  • Are the working methods, staffing and organisation of the European Court of Auditors appropriate?

The Sub-Committee would welcome written comments on these issues.


Written evidence is invited in response to the questions above, to arrive by no later than Monday 17 April 2006.

The questions above cover a broad range of topics and there is no need for individual submissions to deal with all the issues. Evidence should be kept as short as possible: submissions of not more than four sides of A4 paper of free-standing text, excluding any supporting annexes, are preferred. Paragraphs should be numbered.

Evidence should be sent in hard copy and electronically to the addresses below.

Evidence should be attributed and dated, with a note of the author's name and position. Please state whether evidence is submitted on an individual or corporate basis.

Evidence becomes the property of the Committee, and may be printed or circulated by the Committee at any stage. You may publicise or publish your evidence yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee.

Submissions will be acknowledged. Any enquiries should be addressed to: Ed Lock, Clerk of Sub-Committee A, Committee Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW; telephone 020 7219 3616; fax 020 7219 6715; e-mail

This is a public call for evidence. You are encouraged to bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may not have received a copy directly.

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