2013 – 019 Whistle Blowers

Whistle Blowers are traitors to the political elite but heros to the lumpen citizens.

Whistle Blowers (WBs)

The EU is riddled with fraud. To alarge extent it is encouraged so that once someone has given in to the temptation they are complicit and it is then doubly hard to withdraw from that rotten etiquette. Once you take the Devil’s Euro you are his man.
WBs are people within the system who seem to be the only EU personnel who do not to have immunity from dismissal! They are either basically honest and probably overcome with shame at what they find they are involved in. In the EU, it’s usually continual fraud by national institutions, favoured commercial companies, MEPs or EU officers – ultimately all funded by you, the taxpayer.
Whistle blowers may be unable to report their findings or suspicions to their immediate superiors as these people are often complicit in, or very tolerant of, the fraud the WB wishes to expose. The only viable option left is to inform the press.

In EVERY case, so far, the Whistle Blower has eventually been sacked.

The usual reason given is that he/she is ‘over-stressed’ or ‘mentally ill’ and can no longer do their job properly. The frauds they exposed are usually completely ignored and mostly continue to this day.
Former Labour leader Neil (now Baron) Kinnock was specifically tasked with dealing with the rampant fraud within the EU when he was appointed as a Commissioner. He ended up overseeing the sacking of EU chief accountant, Marta Andreasen, who exposed massive financial irregularities. see her book Brussels Laid Bare for the full sordid story.
The European Commission have a very interesting procedure with internal fraud.
•    THE FRAUDSTER is sometimes transferred to another post, but continues to work, get his full salary and benefits
•    THE WHISTLE BLOWER is suspended on half pay and eventually sacked (ref. 2007-22, 2008-16).
The crime is not the fraud but exposing it – and informing you, the taxpayer.

© Mick Greenhough 2010

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http://www.dw- world.de/ dw/article/ 0,2144,2425423, 00.html
Deutsche Welle
30.03.2007
“Internal Corruption Remains a Problem in the European Union”

Van Buitenen’s investigations in 1999 led to the Commission’s fall — and his
own castigation

Dutch MEP and former assistant auditor of the Financial Control Directorate Paul
van Buitenen was the whistleblower who brought down the EU Commission in 1999.
He talked to DW-WORLD.DE about current corruption in the EU.

Paul van Buitenen, a Dutch MEP in the European Parliament and former assistant
auditor of the Financial Control Directorate, believes that the fight against
corruption in Europe has made little progress since new initiatives were set up
in the wake of the EU’s biggest scandal which brought down the Commission in
1999.

DW-WORLD: Is there structural corruption in the EU?

Paul van Buitenen: The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has had success in
combating external corruption in the member states, but it is in the internal
cases where it has found problems. Working with the EU authorities makes it very
difficult to proceed in an investigation. Officially, OLAF is an independent
body, but it functions within the EU Commission; in the commission building, on
the commission’s computer network and works with commission investigators.
OLAF’s independence exists only on paper.

Which of the EU organizations are especially susceptible to corruption?

OLAF has investigated the European Commission for Regional Policy and has
confirmed through investigation that corruption has taken place there over a
number of years. The commission works with local and municipal bodies in the
member states and encourages them engage with Brussels. However, no important
decisions are made on the recommendation of the committee so once could
basically abolish the organization completely and save the EU some 70 million
euros ($93.4 million). Plus, some members have been shown to have unexplained
extra salaries and OLAF has discovered a number of discrepancies in reports.
Every time the committee is approached about corruption, it promises to improve
the situation. But then a new case arises.

How is the situation in the EU parliament?

There is corruption, but these are special cases. There are always conflicts of
interests everywhere. If someone sits on the supervisory board of a big
automobile company, that person should not write in the European Parliament
guidelines on subjects like fuel or manufacture. But I do not go around the
building with a camera to see what my colleagues do. I concentrate on the big
deception cases and irregularities with European implications.

Which new measures would be necessary to fight against corruption?

In some states, like Germany or Holland, controlling possibilities already
exist; there are independent judicial authorities and a strong parliament. At a
European level, however, there is not a democracy, but a bureaucracy. We must
decide if we are to continue with the European arrangement. If we do, then we
must also create these democratic structures at European level. Otherwise we
should revert to allowing the national authorities and parliaments to take over
the controlling functions again. But at the moment, as it stands, everything
goes wrong.

When you uncovered the EU Commission scandal in 1999 which brought down the
commission, you were punished. Has the situation changed?

I would say: Things have got even worse. There is now a regulation which
supposedly protects so-called whistleblowers which makes officials believe that
they can uncover scandals. But in reality, if one does this, they are destroyed.
So the regulation does not work. If a committee official, like in the 1999 case,
is suspected of corruption, he is moved to another department at the beginning
of the inquiries so he can no longer carry out those activities — but he
continues to be employed and still gets his salary. But if people like me sound
the alarm, we are suspended and sometimes have our salary halved. Something is
not right here.

Dennis Stute interviewed Paul van Buitenen, representative of the Europe
Transparent anti-corruption party in the European Parliament.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

EU spending still open to fraud, ex-top official says
13.11.2006 – 18:00 CET | By Andrew Rettman

EUOBSERVER/BRUSSELS – The EU’s €120 billion or so a year budget continues to
suffer from “weak accounting controls” that leave it “vulnerable to error and
fraud,” the European Commission’s former chief accountant, Marta Andreasen has
told EUobserver in an interview.

Her comments come after the UK’s House of Lords published the conclusions of a
year-long study into Brussels spending on Monday (13 November), saying the EU
Court of Auditors has applied unrealistic criteria in giving a negative verdict
on the commission’s accounts 12 years in a row.

But the Court of Auditors’ main concerns – that there is not enough transparency
on the portion of the EU budget spent by EU member states – tell just part of
the story, Ms Andreasen argues, with the detailed figures of the court’s
findings unmasking wider problems.

“When you look at the [commission’s] restatement of the accounts for 2004 there
is much room for serious concern,” she explained, stating that Brussels has now
recorded over €20 billion of so-called “pre-financing” for 2004 that had not
appeared on the books before.

“These changes of more than €20 billion that have surfaced in some chapters
would certainly cause heads to roll and the prosecution of the directors if they
happened in the private sector,” Ms Andreasen, who worked in the private sector
for more than 20 years before coming to the commission in 2002, said.

“The European Commission [typically] blames member states but the responsibility
for the control of funds, the authority to require supporting documentation and
eventually suspend payment lies with the commission,” she explained.

“The problem lies with a culture, characterized, among other things, by a
persistent state of denial on the depth of the problem [by senior Brussels
officials]. As in any situation in life unless you recognise the problem in its
right dimension it will not be possible to find the adequate solution,” the
accountant added.

Ms Andreasen gave a withering assessment of the 25 strong-college of European
commissioners, who go into Brussels for five years with good intentions but end
up “more worried about their own political career than battling vested
interests” in the EU executive.

In October, industry commissioner Guenter Verheugen was dragged through the mud
over relations with his colleague, Petra Erler, after he complained that “too
much is decided by [EU] civil servants” on spending in a non-accountable way,
she pointed out.

Ms Andreasen also criticised the European Parliament for signing off EU accounts
despite the Court of Auditors’ negative reports and predicted that the likely
new parliament president, German conservative MEP Hans-Gert Poettering, will toe
the old line.

Andreasen hearing to reopen old wounds
The Argentine born woman – a 51-year old mother of two who now lives in Spain –
was hired to run commission accounts in 2002 but suspended five months later
after going public with worries that the EU’s accounting system is open to
fraud.

The commission, which eventually sacked her in 2004, says she broke
confidentiality rules. But Ms Andreasen denies having said anything more than
what can already be deduced from the public Court of Auditors’ reports.

She is currently fighting to get her old job back via the EU civil service
tribunal in Luxembourg, with a hearing tabled for 23 November, arguing that her
dismissal is void as she was judged by EU officials of a lower professional
grade than stipulated by staff regulations for such a case.

Ms Andreasen’s story also gives an insight into personal pressure faced by
malcontents in the EU administration. “They put pressure on me to sign off
accounts and payments the legality of which I could not be assured of. I was
literally threatened that I would lose my job if I did not obey,” she stated,
looking back to events in 2002.

“This time was difficult for me,” she added on her two-year long suspension
pending her 2004 dismissal. “I never knew how or when they would deal with my
case. In the meantime, my professional life was stopped and I haven’t been able
to get a job since.”

Commission has ‘ways of breaking people’
Commenting on Ms Andreasen’s case in an internal email in 2004, commission
official Jules Muis called the affair “her personal and professional graveyard”
while remarking that he himself had once been told by a colleague “we have ways
of breaking people like you.”

“It has not broken me,” Ms Andreasen, who currently occasionally lectures on EU
financial reform in Europe and the US, told EUobserver. “I never regret what I
did. I wouldn’t have done anything differently,” she stated.

“Reinstating me might give a message to the public that the commission is
serious about [financial] reforms.”
http://euobserver.com/9/22847/?rk=1

 

http://www.telegrap h.co.uk/news/ main.jhtml? xml=/news/ 2007/01/28/ nbook28.xml
Telegraph
Christopher Booker’s notebook
By Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 11:43pm GMT 27/01/2007

No one in the EU can keep books as badly as the EU

If it were discovered that our Government gave £15 billion a year to an
organisation whose auditors had refused to approve its accounts for 12 years in
a row, one might expect this to blow up into a scandal to make the Enron affair
look petty. A mystery of our time is why there is not more outrage about the
accounts of the European Union, to which British taxpayers gave £15 billion in
2005.

Every public company in the EU must present its annual balance sheet according
to strict rules, yet the EU itself produces accounts that break all the rules it
imposes on everyone else. They don’t use double-entry bookkeeping; tens of
billions of euros float in and out of the books without explanation, and year
after year the EU’s Court of Auditors refuses to approve the accounts, because
they are riddled with “material errors” and “irregularities” .
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Anyone who dares question this shambles is treated with the same disdain as the
small boy was when he first pointed out that the emperor was wearing no clothes.
The most famous such whistleblower was Marta Andreasen who, after the corruption
scandal that forced the resignation of the entire European Commission in 1999,
was made the EU’s Chief Accountant. She was the first accountant in the post
(her predecessors included an architect and an engineer) and she was so appalled
by what she found that she refused to sign the accounts.

Her reward was to be suspended, within weeks, by way of a fax from Neil Kinnock,
then the commission’s vice-president in charge of cleaning up its affairs. Last
summer she was among those invited to give evidence to a House of Lords
committee on “the management and audit of EC expenditure accounts”. She was
politely tolerated by a largely Europhile committee, then Lord Kinnock appeared
before them to dismiss everything she had said. His picture was so distorted
that Mrs Andreasen had to send the committee a whole series of factual
corrections.

Someone greatly impressed by Mrs Andreasen was Andrew Hamilton, an Edinburgh
accountant, who organised two meetings, in Edinburgh and Birmingham, for her to
put her case to hundreds of accountants, lawyers and other professionals. They
were horrified by her picture of “an Augean stables of untraceable payments and
myriad bank accounts with no ascertainable controls or signatories” .

Mr Hamilton decided to download the 139 pages of the EC’s 2005 accounts and the
accompanying 228 pages of the Court of Auditors’ report. He found it just as bad
as Mrs Andreasen said. Although, with implausible precision, they gave the EC’s
operating revenue for the year as €107,890,098, 965.56, it was impossible to
discover where most of this money had come from or gone to, because the accounts
do not use the double-entry system used by every corner shop. They are just a
maze of meaningless figures.

For instance, a figure for the EU’s “long-term and short-term pre-financing”
suddenly goes up from zero to €28 billion, without explanation. When, on another
page, it might seem that this is partly explained by the sudden appearance of a
figure of €26 billion, under “long-term receivables” , this turns out to relate
instead to “an increase in the EC’s long-term pension liability”.

It is possible to work out that the average salary of the Commission’s 22,657
employees is €159,465 (which may account for that rather hefty pension liability
– Lord Kinnock alone receives some £175,000 a year for his decade in office).
But the accounts do not even provide such basic information as how much each
country pays in and takes out.

Even more astonishing than the EU’s inability to apply basic accounting rules to
itself is its ruthlessness in protecting this corrupt system from investigation.
Mrs Andreasen was sacked. Last week in the European Parliament, Ashley Mote, a
British MEP, wanted to ask her successor, Brian Gray, some pertinent questions
arising from her criticisms. The rest of the committee hastily voted to bring
the session to an end.

When Mr Gray was given the job by Lord Kinnock and others, he had previously
been finance chief of the directorates for agriculture and regional funding, the
two biggest spenders of them all. It seems unlikely that he will want to rock
the boat.

 

From LL – Tuesday, November 28, 2006

 

Anonymous whistleblowers whose complaints about onboard ship safety are considered “abusive”, risk having their name forwarded to the shipowner, if the European Parliament has its way, writes Justin Stares in Brussels.

A clause restricting tip-offs about substandard vessels to “legitimate” complainants only has been inserted into the draft directive on port state control, which is now under examination by the Strasbourg assembly.

If the complaint is considered abusive, the relevant authority can pass the name of the would-be whistleblower to either the ship’s master or the owner, according to the the text of the proposed amendment.

French MEP Dominque Vlasto says the threat of reporting illegitimate whistleblowers is necessary to “discourage” them from making complaints in the first place. Ms Vlasto is the rapporteur for the directive and will therefore guide parliament’s response to the proposal.

“A mechanism should be introduced to enable persons with an interest in the safety of the vessel to lodge complaints with the authority competent to initiate inspections if necessary,” she said, by way of justification for her amendment. “However, this mechanism should not be completely unrestricted and enable anyone at all to lodge complaints in any way they choose. It’s essential to distinguish between admissible and legitimate complaints and clearly abusive complaints. To discourage the latter, in case of abusive complaints only, it should be possible for the identity of the person or persons lodging the complaint to be disclosed.”

The European Commission in its original proposal had suggested that “all complaints” be investigated, with unfounded reports simply rejected. The commission wanted complaints to enjoy full anonymity. The shipowning industry is understood to be concerned that competitors could launch illegitimate complaints in order to delay a ship’s departure.

On the controversial issue of the role of pilots in reporting defects, Mrs Vlasto did some fancy footwork between the position of shipowners — who wanted to minimise pilots’ role — and the pilots themselves, who had no objection to the commission’s plans to give them a greater role.

“Pilots should be enabled to provide useful information on anomalies found onboard ships,” the MEP said in her report.

The commission’s original wording, inviting both port pilots and deepsea pilots to report on “defects” was considered “excessive” because “defects are not necessarily readily apparent,” the report stated.

That was greeted by humour in some quarters.

If a ship’s propulsion system is broken, would this count as a defect, or an anomaly, one source commented in jest.

As for the methodology used to target ships for inspections, Mrs Vlasto came around to the shipowners’ view that the safety record of the ship, not the company, should form the basis of calculations.

Amendments, if they are passed in the plenary, will form the subject of discussions between the parliament, the council of ministers and the commission before the bill becomes law.

 

http://www.timesonl ine.co.uk/ tol/news/ politics/ article5780750. ece
February 22, 2009
Secret report reveals how MEPs make millions
Jonathan Oliver

A LEAKED internal report has revealed systematic abuses by Euro MPs of
parliamentary allowances that enable them to pocket more than £1m in
profits from a single five-year term, writes Jonathan Oliver.

The auditor’s confidential report, suppressed by the Brussels
parliament, discloses the extraordinary frauds used by MEPs to siphon
off staff allowances funded by taxpayers.

It shows that some claimed for paying assistants of whom no record
exists, awarded them bonuses of up to 1½ times annual salary and
diverted public money into front companies.

An investigation into the abuses of staff allowances worth up to
£182,000 a year — many of which are paid by MEPs to members of their
family — was delivered in January last year but was not published.

A copy of the 92-page report, prepared by Robert Galvin, the
parliament’s head of internal audit, has been seen by The Sunday
Times. It reveals:

– Payments were made to assistants who were not accredited with the
European parliament and to companies whose accounts showed no
activity.

– End-of-year bonuses worth up to 19½ times monthly salary were paid
to assistants to allow members to use up their full annual allowance.

– Payments, supposedly for secretarial work, were made to a crèche
whose manager happened to be a local politician from the MEP’s
political party.

oPayments were made straight into the coffers of national political
parties.

– Some assistants doubled their money by banking pay-offs from
outgoing MEPs at the same time as receiving salaries from incoming
ones.

– One MEP claimed to have paid the full £182,000 staff allowance to
one person, suspected of being a relative.

The revelations come as British MEPs look forward to an
inflation-busting pay rise this year that could see their take-home
pay rising by almost 50%.

In his report, Galvin said that overpayments of allowances were
common, adding: “Remuneration paid may not always be justified by the
real costs of providing parliamentary assistance.” He warned that
abuses exposed the parliament to “financial, legal and reputational
risk”.

The report was based on a representative sample of 167 payments — out
of a total of 4,686 — made during October 2004. It suggests that
Galvin unearthed only a tiny fraction of the many corrupt practices
employed by some of the 785 members of the 27-nation parliament. His
analysis of the 2004 figures then took years to surface within the
secretive Brussels bureaucracy.

New figures compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance reveal how MEPs can
pocket more than £1m over five years by exploiting different
allowances. The calculations were inspired by known abuses of the
system, which Brussels insiders claim have been commonplace.

Over a full term, MEPs could easily bank almost £450,000 in staff
allowances — even if they employed several genuine full-time
assistants.

The campaign group estimates that MEPs claiming the maximum
subsistence of £257 a day while staying in cheap accommodation could
also pocket about £105,000 from this source over five years.

MEPs could make £217,800 in office expenses by claiming their home was
also their constituency office. No receipts are required to receive
this money.

The lack of any need to provide receipts to justify travel expenses
means that MEPs could receive a £54,000 tax-free profit while still
making regular journeys between Brussels and their home country.

MEPs also have a final salary pension scheme which is even more
generous than the one provided to members of the Westminster
parliament. The TaxPayers’ Alliance calculates that the cash value of
this benefit would be about £350,000 over a full parliamentary term.

At current exchange rates the grand total profit over five years comes
to £1,176,800.

That figure does not include an MEP’s salary, which is due to increase
after the June European elections thanks to a “harmonisation” of MEPs’
pay.

British MEPs receive £63,291 a year, the same as Westminster MPs.
After July their pay after tax could rise from about £46,835 to almost
£69,000 a year, depending on the exchange rate and whether they can
pay the lower European Union tax rate of 15%.

The existence of the Galvin report was first revealed last year when
Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat MEP who read the document, refused to
sign a confidentiality agreement and disclosed some of its findings.

Davies’s revelations created EU-wide interest in the corruption of the
Brussels parliament. Despite the embarrassment, MEPs voted to keep the
report confidential.

In November Den Dover, a British Conservative MEP, was forced to pay
back £500,000 in expenses after The Sunday Times revealed that he had
been wrongly paying his EU allowances to a family firm.

It was the most outrageous of a series of expenses scandals that
emerged last year.

The European parliament has announced a number of reforms to the
expenses rules which will come into force this summer. These include
ensuring that MEPs’ staff are paid directly by the parliament rather
than via the members’ own “service provider”.

However, Davies said the reforms did not go far enough, insisting that
many of the Galvin report’s recommendations had yet to be adopted.

“If five steps are needed, the parliament always seems to take only
two,” he said.

“We are now better than the Italian system but a long way short of the
standards of the House of Commons.”

A spokesman for the European parliament said: “The Galvin report is a
study of potential weaknesses in the system of parliamentary
assistance allowances. It has had important consequences. The result
has been a complete overhaul of this system to enter into force after
the June elections.”

 

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