the ESF-council parts out and checking 14 billion in EU funding will go to improve the labour market in Sweden. DN has revealed that the authority at the same time paid out several million in advance to its own EU-projects. The money has gone to buying services, including a pod, in many cases without notice.
Before christmas, beating its own supplier of alarm, an e-mail, and said that it did not had any control over that money went to the right things and that the authority needs to stop with the concept.
Therefore, the ESF-council controllerenhet in the spring made a ”quality” of the EUROPEAN project. It has now been submitted to the national financial management authority, which is responsible for the audit of EU funds in Sweden.
" We got it in last week and are now trying to form our own opinions about what it is that has happened and what kind of review we can do based on our mission. It is of course a very serious issue and it is important that our decision not only rests on an internal investigation and it has come up in the media, " says Ulrika Bergelv, head of EUROPEAN audit at the Swedish national financial management authority.
dated the 25 april, hitting the ESF council's own officers fixed several of the conclusions that have emerged in the DN's review. Among other things, stated that the authority on eleven occasions, given advances to its EU-projects over a two year period. According to the report, the advances granted in breach of the regulatory framework, in contravention with the procedures and in violation of the agreement with the supplier.
”the Swedish ESF-council has lacked the legal basis to grant advances of state funds,” it says also in the report.
Advances have been granted time and time again, and converted by the current but never nollats before a new advance is granted. On average, the outstanding unpaid amount of the advance has been around 678.000 dollars, that most it has been 1,2 million. The report also lays down the advances been in the declarations of expenditure and that, during the several years taken up the non-performing advances in the accounts despite the fact that they are not entitled to it. Director-general Lars Lööw has previously said that the wrong handling means that with a high probability of having to pay with the authority's own resources.
in his review also discovered other errors. Among other things, the authority has not been able to find any credit check of the company that controlled the EUROPEAN project, despite the fact that the contract required it.
It has also been missing leveransunderlag for invoices paid through the advance, but the lack assessing officials are not serious.
Read more: Unclear whether the internal investigation at the ESF council
in Addition to the national financial management review, the ESF council has also notified themselves to the Fca. The authority's internal auditor has been instructed to conduct an internal investigation as a result of DN's review. Director-general Lars Lööw also says there is a basis for a possible notification to the financial crime.
" this feels really bad. It feels bad in relation to all the skilled employees who are busy in other projects to attend to, so we have had colleagues who have chosen to apply the rules in this way. It harms both us and the business in a really boring way, " says Lars Lööw in a previous interview with the DN.
several of the things that emerged in the DN's review but also defended that the EU funds have gone to the services, as it is located in the mission to spread awareness of EU projects and their results. DN's review shows, however, that several of the communication efforts are not evaluated, and that they had very little impact.
the EUROPEAN commission spokesman Christian Wigand writes in a comment to the DN:
”the Commission is aware of this case and is in contact with the relevant national authorities. They have assured us that no EU money so far has been paid out of the European social Fund. We have understood that there is an ongoing internal investigation.”
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