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C 297/92 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 15.10.

1999

than 1 400 projects. In order to cope with the increased workload an agency was used, which had already been
mentioned in connection with the Bertholet (Commissioner Cresson’s dentist) affair, the Perry-Lux agency,
currently under investigation by the Luxembourg courts.

UCLAF itself, the Community’s anti-fraud unit, is currently carrying out an investigation into the director of
ECHO and a series of contracts given to Perry-Lux, one of which goes back to 1993 and of which no trace can
be found, another worth ECU 500 million (the equivalent of one billion lire) was actually spurious, and others,
worth ECU 2,3 million are still the subject of investigations.

Does the Commission not consider it necessary to comment on these revelations in order to clarify the
situation?

(1999/C 297/122) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3649/98


by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) to the Commission

(3 December 1998)

Subject: UCLAF

Several newspapers have reported that increasing numbers of intermediary companies are being set up by
Community officials in order to respond to calls for tenders issued by the European Union.

In the light of the revelations about scandals and fraud engulfing the Community institutions, can the
Commission explain why UCLAF, the Community anti-fraud unit, has been so slow to act? Following the
statements made by Claude Perry to the Luxembourg judges, in connection with the ECHO scandal, will the
Commission publish a detailed review of the companies with which the Commission deals in order to check
up on their activities, ownership and contracts?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-3647/98 and E-3649/98
given by Mrs Gradin on behalf of the Commission

(25 January 1999)

The Commission considers that it has already clarified its position regarding the allegations mentioned by the
Honourable Member. The Commission has given information directly to the Parliament. In particular, the
Commission’s internal report on the Echo affair has been transmitted to the Parliament. Moreover, press
information has been provided by the Commission.

The Commission would like to underline that the correct total amount of the four contracts involved under
judicial investigation was ECU 2 421 080 .

It is furthermore not appropriate to consider that Uclaf has been slow to act. The Commission would stress
that it is the enquiry conducted by its own Task Force for the Co-ordination of the fight against fraud that led to
the conclusion that it was necessary to refer the case to the judicial authorities in Luxembourg. This was done
on 10 July 1998, simultaneously with the completion of the report regarding the on-the-spot control carried
out in the company principally involved.

The Commission would moreover point out that it carries out investigations for the purposes of protecting the
financial interests of the Community each time there are sufficient suspicions. In this context, the Commission
adopted on 14 July 1998 a decision concerning investigations carried out by the Task Force Co-ordination of
the fight against fraud. In addition, detailed rules of application were adopted on 9 December 1998. These
texts contain provisions regarding the way in which information is transmitted to the Parliament’s committee
on budgetary control while respecting the confidentiality of the investigations and the rights of natural and
legal persons.

In relation to the possible review of the companies with which the Commission deals, the Commission would
refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-3230/98 by Mrs Müller (1).

(1) See page 60.