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Kevin Cardiff to be grilled by MEPs over European job

The Department of Finance head has been nominated to the EU Court of Auditors amid controversy over a €3.6billion error in the State accounts.

Kevin Cardiff
Kevin Cardiff
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

OUTGOING DEPARTMENT OF Finance head Kevin Cardiff will be questioned by MEPs today over his controversial nomination to the European Court of Auditors.

Cardiff, who was secretary-general of the department at the time of the notorious €3.6billion accounting error, was nominated to the EU post by the Government.

The role involves oversight of European accounts. It carries a salary of more than €180,000 plus expenses and allowances over a six-year term.

Along with seven other nominees to the court, Cardiff will be questioned by members of the EU Budgetary Control Committee in a meeting this morning.

One member of the committee, UK representative Marta Andreasen, has already said he should not be considered for the post because of his link to the €3.6billion error.  She said earlier this month that auditors should be “beyond doubt”, adding: “I think with Kevin we have doubt.”

However, the Irish Independent reports that Andreasen will be absent from today’s committee meeting.

In a CV submitted to the committee and released online, Cardiff highlights his experience as a long-time public servant, particularly in the financial arena. He argues that for sound financial management, an organisation needs “a determination to ensure [...] financial regularity, with robust and efficient internal control and review systems in place,” as well as “external audit and review”.

Members of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee have said that the NTMA contacted the Department of Finance several times about the potential €3.6billion accounting error during 2010, but were ignored.

Cardiff will be the seventh of eight nominees to face questioning, in a meeting which begins at 8am Irish time.

Read more: EU official hits out at Kevin Cardiff over €3.6bn accounting blunder>

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

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Michael Freeman

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