Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

EU's accounts get audited


The European Court of Auditors this week said that billions of euros of taxpayers money should never have been paid out last year.

In the Court's annual verdict, significant errors were highlighted in the area of EU spending and management of funds, particularly in aid for the EU's poorer regions. So, for the 15th year running the Court was unable to give a clean bill of health.

But the EU's accounts themselves were given the thumbs up for the second year running.

There were signs of improvement in some areas like agriculture, which for the first time avoided a negative opinion.

We'll be asking whether reformers should take heart at this year's performance, but also who is to blame for the continued errors in spending and management.

Joining Shirin Wheeler in the studio are:

• Marta Andreasen, the newly elected UK Independence Party MEP who in 2002 was suspended from her role as the EU's chief accountant after uncovering serious errors in the EU's accounts

• Brian Gray, who followed Marta in the role of EU chief accountant and currently runs the European Commission's Internal Audit department

• Christofer Fjellner, the Swedish centre right MEP who has worked on a number of the Parliament's reports on all aspects of the auditing procedure

• Vicky Ford, the British Conservative MEP, who sat on the East of England Regional assembly representing South Cambridgeshire

• And Derek Vaughan, the British Labour MEP, who led Neath Port Talbot council and also ran the Welsh Local Government Association

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