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Kevin Cardiff
Kevin Cardiff
Image: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

EU official hits out at Kevin Cardiff over €3.6bn accounting blunder

MEP Marta Andreasen has said the outgoing Finance head is not suitable for a position on the European Court of Auditors.
Nov 7th 2011, 10:44 AM 1,920 30

A EUROPEAN OFFICIAL has suggested that Ireland’s €3.6billion accounting blunder should rule Department of Finance head Kevin Cardiff out of holding an EU position.

Cardiff, the outgoing department head, has been nominated by the Irish government to the European Court of Auditors, which assesses the sound management of the public funds of EU citizens.

However, MEP Marta Andreasen has criticised the proposal. Andreasen is  a member of the European Parliament’s budget control committee and a former chief accountant of the EC.

She said even if Cardiff was not ultimately responsible for the error – in which the €3.6billion was counted twice – it should put him beyond consideration.

“When you choose someone to become an auditor, who has the highest responsibility in ensuring that the funds entrusted to the EU are properly spent, this person shoudl be beyond doubt,” Andreasen told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“I think with Kevin we have doubt, and therefore he shouldn’t be considered at all.”

She added that she will “certainly” be voting against his appointment, saying that Cardiff’s association with Ireland’s public finances during our financial crisis would also count against him. Andreasen, who represents the UK Independence Party, suggested that the Government should withdraw its nomination.

Cardiff was questioned by the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee over the error last week. It emerged that the National Treasury Management Agency had contacted the Department of Finance querying the figure, but no action was taken.

Read more: Dept of Finance, CSO and NTMA officials face questioning over ‘accounting error’>

Read more: Department of Finance was told about the €3.6bn mistake last year – but did nothing>

Column: What The Finance? Heads should roll over €3.6bn gaffe>

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Michael Freeman

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