|Member of the European Parliament
for South East England
14 July 2009
|Preceded by||Ashley Mote|
26 November 1954 |
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|UK Independence Party (until 2013)|
Marta Andreasen (born 26 November 1954) is an Argentine-born Spanish accountant, employed in January 2002 by the European Commission as Chief Accountant, and notable for raising concerns about flaws in the commission's accounting system which she felt left the commission vulnerable to potential fraud. Elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in 2009, she defected to the Conservative Party in February 2013.
She qualified in 1977 as a certified public accountant in Buenos Aires, then worked for five years as an auditor at Pricewaterhousecoopers. 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.
She joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation 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analysis.[clarification needed] In August 2000, their report described the OECD's internal accounting systems as outdated and inadequate. Andreasen, however, was suspended from her job for 15 months.
Accountancy Age stated in October 2003 that 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 magazine in October 2000 ("Andreasen claims allegations against her emerged only after she had raised concerns about the accounts").
Concerns over EU's accounting
Andreasen criticised the EU's accounting system for being open to fraud. She 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.
At this stage the media began to investigate and to report. Andreasen went public with her concerns on 1 August 2002.
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"). She is said to have been suspended from her job and ultimately fired because she refused to sign accounts she believed were unreliable.
Since then 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 Fraud examiners in Las Vegas, the Institute of Internal Auditors in Ireland and Accountancy Age in Britain, which in 2003 awarded her the reader-voted Accountancy Age Award as Personality of the Year. In 2004 she won the Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award for "choosing truth over self".
In 2007 Andreasen became the new Treasurer of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which is committed to withdrawing the United Kingdom from the European Union. In the 2009 elections to the European Parliament she was elected as a UKIP member of the European Parliament for South East England and 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 of it. In September 2009, she resigned from her post as Treasurer of UKIP.
In April 2010 Andreasen announced her intention to apply for the vacant position of Director-General of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), but there was no subsequent report that she had actually sent in such an application.
After what she considered a disappointing election result for UKIP in the local elections of May 2011, Andreasen called for her leader Nigel Farage to resign. The party responded that it had made gains in the election and that her statement "displays what one might perhaps charitably call a naivety in its analysis of the UK electoral scene". During a TV interview, Farage himself responded that Andreasen was out of touch and "didn't know what she was talking about".
She is married to Octavio Otaño, an economist. They have two children.
- Andreasen, Marta: Brussels Laid Bare, pg. 20. St. Edwards Press Ltd, July 2009
- "UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen defects to Conservatives". BBC News Online. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
- Andreasen, Marta: Brussels Laid Bare, page 10. St. Edwards Press Ltd, July 2009
- Andreasen, Marta: Brussels Laid Bare, page 31. St. Edwards Press Ltd, July 2009
- Andreasen, Marta: Brussels Laid Bare, St. Edwards Press Ltd, July 2009
- Marta Andreasen entry in the euabc.com (somewhat dated)
- 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
- Becky Barrow: I'm not a politician — just a bean-counter, says Andreasen, The Daily Telegraph: 8 February 2002
- Andreasen v Commission at curia.europa.eu
- UKIP prepares for battle over EU, BBC News, 5 October 2007
- Andreasen fails in bid for EU budget committee, Accountancy Age, 22 July 2009
- Charter, David (8 September 2009). "Marta Andreasen, UKIP's treasurer and Brussels whistleblower, resigns". London: The Times. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
- Whistleblower seeks to head EU anti fraud unit, Accountancy Age, 15 April 2010
- "Call for UKIP's Nigel Farage to resign as double act turns sour". BBC News. 10 May 2011.
- "Kevin Cardiff nomination questioned by MEP", RTÉ News, 7 November 2011.
- "UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen defects to Conservatives". BBC News. 22 February 2013.
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 3-87024-578-6, ISBN 978-3870245788/Fischer, Frankfurt 2004 (2nd ed.) ISBN 3-596-15746-3, ISBN 978-3-596-15746-4
- Paul van Buitenen: Blowing the Whistle: Fraud in the European Commission, Politicos Pub, 2000, ISBN 1-902301-46-3, ISBN 978-1-902301-46-4
- Paul van Buitenen: In de loopgraven van Brussel: de slag om een transparant Europa, Ten Have, 2004, pp. 128–153. ISBN 90-259-5422-7.
- Marta Andreasen: Brussels Laid Bare, St Edwards Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9554188-1-5.
- Paul van Buitenen
- Accountability in the European Union
- Resignation of the Santer Commission