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European Regional Development Fund

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 25 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much had been paid in fines consequent on irregularities relating to the European Regional Development Fund programme since 1997 at the latest date for which figures are available; and what his most recent estimate is of the contingent liabilities in respect of such irregularities. (323985)

The Commission does not impose fines on member states in relation to irregularities found during the course of applying management controls to the administration of European Regional Development Funds (ERDF). It does apply Financial Corrections where, in its view, those management controls have not met the high standard they require. These are estimated to remove that element of funds not subject to audit that might have been found to be irregular.

The only Financial Correction applied to the 2000-2006 ERDF programmes was imposed on the NW Objective 2 and URBAN programmes for failures in management control (Article 4 of regulation (EC) 438/2001). This amounted to €30,886,153. The total value of the programmes is €860,000,000.

The latest estimate of contingent liabilities arising from possible Financial Corrections and other disallowances was published in the recent Spring Supplementary Estimates as £113,450,000. My Department will be reviewing this figure in the context of the 2009-2010 resource accounts to be published in June.