We return to a dossier of an organization that received EU funding and was audited. Somehow, the audit disappeared (well, was closed by the European Commission). Nevertheless the audit paperwork, did not disappear. For today, we spare you the details of the case.
We bring forward to you two pages of the audit report that we received from the Commission following a request through Regulation 1049/2001.
As you can see below, both pages are equally redacted to conceal all information.
The Commission services asked us to acknowledge the source if we use them. And so we do.
What you see below (only the pages in black) has been provided by the European Commission. We have not altered it in any way. Please proceed further to see what the document looks like without the redaction. And then please let us know if you think this was rightly hidden from the public.
The big black marker… and the unveiling
Below, in large, you can see the two non-redacted versions of the audit reports concealed by the European Commission, from the public.
The Commission wrote to us: “Having examined the documents requested … partial access can be granted”.
We don’t like to leave things half-way – so we provide you with the full picture. Note that for reasons that elude us, the audit in question was “never validated” (and the question – WHY? – is exactly the one to be asking).
We’ve replaced the name of the organization and any identifying location of its headquarters – in line with a Commission’s request, to protect the organization’s commercial interests. We only hope our readers are Star Wars fans.
By now it is clear – it should be clear at least, this story starts from within the European Commission itself, from staff at all levels that have seen wrong-doings go on for too long; staff that are looking to the new European Commission leadership for action. If it so wishes, a strong Directorate-General can certainly quash a coup d’etat, but the new College of Commissioners, the President, and EU Citizens, will certainly become aware of what is at play.
After you are done examining the documents and come to the conclusion that the European Commission probably should not have swept this audit under the rug, we ask the following:
What good are transparency registers, strict rules and regulations, if when irregularities are found, they are dealt with by political/personal/other criteria that are not fair and just to all the other recipients of EU funding that abide by all the rules?
The reality is, that this behaviour in DG RTD has been exacerbated under the reign of the current Director- General Robert-Jan Smits. If he is not responsible – and we always leave a space for the truth to shine – then the Director-General needs to get his directorate under control.
This might be a very small case, of a few million Euros that the EU budget would see rightfully returned. A few million that is all but negligible at this day and age. But public officials, and public institutions are accountable to the citizens that pay for them, and we at New Europe try to be a watchdog of both institutions and political bodies alike.
Always constructively, and always, for the good of the European Union.
Happy new year.