§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his policy in relation to the European Court of Auditors' rejection of the European Union's accounts for 1997. 77W
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
In its Annual Report, the European Court of Auditors declined to give a positive statement of assurance on the EU accounts for 1997, and again on the accounts for 1998, because of the level of errors detected in payment transactions. This is clearly unacceptable and the Government will press the Commission and other Member States to take action. The Government strongly encourages and supports measures to reduce financial mismanagement and fraud against the EU budget. The Government has strongly backed Commission reform and expects the new Commission under Romano Prodi's presidency to act decisively.