Certainly you may remember the Director General of Research Robert-Jan Smits, also known to Kassandra readers as the “Prince of the Audits.” He is the good Director-General who effected the cancellation of an audit to the European Science Foundation (ESF) concluded on April 3, 2009, after it was finalized. The final audit, had recommended the recovery of € 5,476,432. At the time, the Commission asked for the recovery but the beneficiary (EFS) refused to pay. After that, instead of initiating recovery procedures through the Member State, Smits through a complicated internal procedure, made sure the audit was cancelled.

Under normal circumstances, if this manipulation had occurred in any Member State, from the dirty south to the clean north, the Director General in question would have been dismissed and referred to the national prosecutor. Instead, Robert-Jan Smits is still a sitting Director-General with the eulogies of the European Commission.

From what Kassandra remembers, OLAF had shown an interest on the matter at the time we published the horrifying documents showing the manipulation of the Director-General but it seems that its investigations take years and nothing has happened so far.

On a sidenote

On January 1, 2014, Smits had backed the appointment of Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon in order for the latter to become president of the European Research Council, the supreme research institution of Europe. Previously, the famous professor (Bourguignon) was for twenty years Director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS), another noble institution financed by the European Commission under various programmes and projects.

Recently, Kassandra learned that OLAF has released a report concerning the activities of the noble Institute IHÉS when it was under the management of Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The report is in the hands of Robert-Jan Smits, who theoretically should be informing his Commissioner Carlos Moedas and the cabinet of the President while taking further action.