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11.12.2001

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EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 350 E/59

In the course of the Reform being undertaken in the Commission, on 28 November 2000 the College adopted a consultative document ( 1 ) on the reform of disciplinary proceedings. That document sets out the details and reasons for the Commission’s proposals for making changes to the rules relating to the composition and working procedures of the Disciplinary Board and to other features of the disciplinary system. The Commission proposes to maintain the role of the Disciplinary Board, whilst modifying certain procedural rules concerning its composition and working procedures.

( 1 )

SEC(2000) 2079.

(2001/C 350 E/063)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-0931/01

by Jonas Sjöstedt (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(28 March 2001)

Subject: Lost 16 million kronor

Messrs Perry Lux of Luxembourg were hired by ECHO to carry out three aid projects in Bosnia for a sum corresponding to 24 million Swedish kronor. The project fizzled out in a large-scale fraud case. The equivalent of some 16 million Swedish kronor disappeared.

What is the Commission doing to locate the missing money and is it giving serious consideration to ways of calling the officials responsible to account for their errors in connection with the fraud case?

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(25 June 2001)

Based on information obtained in March 1997 that four operational contracts totalling € 4 million for humanitarian aid were suspicious, UCLAF launched an inquiry with controls on the spot in Luxembourg, Ireland and former Yugoslavia. The inquiry report concludes, among other things, that further inquiries are necessary by the national judicial authorities to establish the ultimate beneficiaries of funds which have not been traced to date.

As suggested by UCLAF ECHO has issued immediately a recovery order against ‘Perry Lux Informatic’ for one of the four contracts. This recovery order was contested within a law suit filed in April 1998 in the Court of First Instance of the European Communities (T-132/98). Later on this company went bankrupt and the liquidators requested that the Court suspend the proceedings, awaiting the outcome of a penal procedure launched by the judicial authorities of Luxembourg. The Court accepted this request on 25 June 1999. The penal procedure is still ongoing and the Commission is defending the financial interests of the Community as a civil party in this procedure.

As far as the three other contracts which were concluded with two subsidiaries of Perry-Lux in Ireland: The two subsidiaries were already dissolved in 1996, before the UCLAF investigation started. The investigation has not enabled the Commission to identify, for example, a liquidator against whom a recovery could have been launched. Therefore, the Commission will defend the Communities’ financial interests as described under 2 within the on-going penal procedure in these cases as well.

As concerns the disciplinary measures taken in relation to this matter, the Commission refers to the detailed answers it has already given in the framework of the discharge procedure for the general budget 1999 (Blak-report).