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definition - Marta_Andreasen

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Marta Andreasen

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Marta Andreasen MEP
Incumbent
Assumed office 
14 July 2009
Born26 November 1954 (1954-11-26) (age 55)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
NationalitySpanish
Political partyUK Independence
ProfessionAccountant

Marta Andreasen (born 26 November 1954) is an Argentine-born Spanish accountant, employed in January 2002 by the European Commission as Chief Accountant [1], and notable for raising concerns about flaws in the commission's accounting system which she felt left the commission vulnerable to potential fraud. She was subsequently elected as a Member of the European Parliament for United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in 2009.

Contents

Professional career

Mrs Andreasen qualified in 1977 as a certified public accountant in Buenos Aires, then worked for five years as an auditor at Price Waterhouse.

From 1982 on she worked as a finance and administration manager, then as a regional finance director at various companies, such as Rockwell Automation and Lotus Development, mostly in Spain.

OECD

She joined the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1998, where she reported serious problems with its accounting system, raised her concerns with the management and suggested ways of reforms. After initial resistance, Arthur Andersen were assigned for an outside analysis. In August 2000, their report described the OECD's internal accounting systems as outdated and inadequate. Mrs Andreasen, however, was suspended from her job for 15 months.

Accountancy Age stated in October 2003 that Mrs Andreasen's spell at the OECD ended with "her bid to take the organisation to the European Court of Justice claiming her human rights had been violated as she had not been given a 'fair trial' following allegations of racism, and that she raised 'undue doubts' and unsupported 'alarmist allegations' in relation to OECD accounts."

The OECD never confirmed allegations of racism were part of the cause for her suspension. Andreasen had already dismissed those in Accountancy in October 2000 ("Andreasen claims allegations against her emerged only after she had raised concerns about the accounts").

Brussels

In January 2002 she began her new job in Brussels as Chief Accountant [2] ("budget execution director and accounting officer"), the first professional accountant hired[3].

Concerns over EC's accounting

Andreasen criticized the EU's accounting system for being open to fraud[citation needed].

Mrs Andreasen raised her criticisms and proposals for overdue improvements and changes internally, but made no progress with her superior. She then submitted her report to the Commissioner Michaele Schreyer and the Commission President Romano Prodi. She again received no answers and so approached members of the EU Parliament’s Budget Control Committee.[citation needed]

She, consequently, refused to sign off the 2001 European Commission accounts. With this, she is not alone – The EU's Court of Auditors can only fully validate 5% of the money spent and have criticized the system every year since 1994. In the discharge procedure in 2003 the Commission promised comprehensive reform [4][5].

At this stage the media began to investigate and to report. Mrs Andreasen went public with her concerns on 1 August 2002 [6].

Sacking

Mrs Andreasen was fully suspended from her job by the Commission in May 2002 (for "violating Articles 12 and 21 of staff regulations, failure to show sufficient loyalty and respect"), underwent a disciplinary procedure and in the end was fired in 2005. She said to have been suspended from her job and ultimately fired because she refused to sign accounts she believed were unreliable – in 2002 alone, her office found 10,000 possible cases of fraud in EU accounts. The EC says she was disloyal.[7] The Civil Service Tribunal of the EU confirmed the sacking of Marta Andreasen in its decision of 8 November 2007.[8]

Worldwide response

Since then Mrs Andreasen has given a number of interviews and speeches outlining her criticism and the measures to be taken.

Among her first appearances were invitations by the fraud examiners in Las Vegas, the Institute of Internal Auditors in Ireland and Accountancy Age in Britain, which in 2003 awarded her with the reader-voted Accountancy Age Award as Personality of the Year. In 2004 followed the Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award for "choosing truth over self".

Political career

In 2007 it was announced that Andreasen had become the new Treasurer of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which is committed to withdrawing the United Kingdom from the European Union.[9]. In September 2009, she resigned from this post, although continues to serve as a UKIP MEP [10]

Andreasen was elected as a UKIP member of the European Parliament for South East England in the 2009 elections to the European Parliament.She immediately joined the Parliament's influential Committee on Budgetary Control, although the European People's Party group blocked her bid to become a vice-Chair.[11]

Personal

Mrs Andreasen is married to Octavio Otano, an economist. They have two children (born in 1981 and 1984) and live in Barcelona.

References

  1. ^ Andreasen, Marta: "Brussels Laid Bare.", page 20. St.Edwards Press Ltd ,July 2009
  2. ^ Andreasen, Marta: "Brussels Laid Bare.", page 10. St.Edwards Press Ltd ,July 2009
  3. ^ Andreasen, Marta: "Brussels Laid Bare.", page 31. St.Edwards Press Ltd ,July 2009
  4. ^ Marta Andreasen entry in the euabc.com (a bit dated)
  5. ^ The Marta Andreasen and Fabra Valles cases: an exclusive JUST Response report from the Dougal Watt Dossier – Mismanagement and Corruption in Europe – Letter from Robert Dougal Watt, Auditor, European Court of Auditors, to Michel Hervé, Secretary General, European Court of Auditors, 16 September 2002
  6. ^ Becky Barrow: I'm not a politician — just a bean-counter, says Andreasen, The Daily Telegraph: 8 February 2002
  7. ^ Charles Oliver: Brussels Sprouts Corruption, 3 January 2005, Reason Magazine
  8. ^ http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en&newform=newform&alljur=alljur&jurcdj=jurcdj&jurtpi=jurtpi&jurtfp=jurtfp&alldocrec=alldocrec&docj=docj&docor=docor&docop=docop&docav=docav&docsom=docsom&docinf=docinf&alldocnorec=alldocnorec&docnoj=docnoj&docnoor=docnoor&typeord=ALLTYP&allcommjo=allcommjo&affint=affint&affclose=affclose&numaff=&ddatefs=08&mdatefs=11&ydatefs=2007&ddatefe=08&mdatefe=11&ydatefe=2007&nomusuel=Andreasen&domaine=&mots=&resmax=100&Submit=Suchen
  9. ^ UKIP prepares for battle over EU, BBC News, 5 October 2007
  10. ^ "Marta Andreasen, UKIP’s treasurer and Brussels whistleblower, resigns". The Times. 8 September 2009. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6825234.ece. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  11. ^ Andreasen fails in bid for EU budget committee, Accountancy Age, 22 July 2009

Books on subject

  • Andreas Oldag, Hans-Martin Tillack: Raumschiff Brüssel – Wie die Demokratie in Europa scheitert (in German, Spaceship Brussels – How Democracy in Europe fails), Argon Verlag, 2003 (1st ed., hardcover), ISBN 3870245786, ISBN 978-3870245788 / Fischer, Frankfurt 2004 (2nd ed.) ISBN 3596157463, ISBN 978-3596157464
  • Paul van Buitenen: Blowing the Whistle: Fraud in the European Commission, Politicos Pub, 2000, ISBN 1902301463, ISBN 978-1902301464
  • Paul van Buitenen: In de loopgraven van Brussel: de slag om een transparant Europa, Ten Have, 2004, pp. 128–153. ISBN 90-25954227.
  • Marta Andreasen: Brussels laid bare, St Edwards Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9554188-1-5.

See also

 

All translations of Marta_Andreasen


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