Monday, June 04, 2007

Taken to the cleaners

The EU's anti-fraud office, OLAF (as opposed to its pro-fraud offices), and the Brussels prosecutor's office have begun an investigation into allegations that EU bureaucrats faked contracts with cleaners to pocket EU funds after Belgian media reported that commission employees had drafted fake contracts with a Belgian cleaning contractor to syphon off money.

According to IHT, citing OLAF spokesman Alessandro Buttice, a contract signed with the Belgian firm between 2003 and 2007 "may have been executed in an irregular manner." The company, which has not been named, had been contracted to clean all EU commission buildings.

It is unclear how much money is involved, but the commission is said to have had a budget for cleaning services of between €30-40 million over the past five years.

Anyhow, it makes a change for the EU to be taken to the cleaners. That is a fate normally reserved for us mere "citizens".


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