In order for the Directorate-General for Budgets, which knows the background of the matter, not to lose interest in the fate of outstanding claims. it must determine the way in which it intends to deal with the recovery of a claim, and it will have responsibility for sending the debit note, according to the Communication. The new sharing of tasks between the authorising officer and the accountant proposed by Michaele Schreyer must, by avoiding the accountant having to request a statement of position systematically from the authorising officer whenever a dispute arises, lighten procedures which lead to delay in recovery. The Internal Audit Service will intervene to initiate the pre-dispute phase - issuance of reminders and of formal demands for payment - in disputed cases or those in which there is no reaction by the debtor. If that first phase is unavailing, the accountants must provide the necessary information for the initiation of a dispute to the Legal Service, which is expected to establish a unit specialised in the recovery of debts, with responsibility for providing legal advice and opinions, for assigning the cases and for the institution and follow-up of legal procedures, in order to facilitate co-operation between lawyers and accountants.The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is expected to set up a new unit responsible for following up financial irregularities which, when it deems that a case must be pursued criminally, will place the case directly under the authority of OLAF which will act to enable the Commission to intervene as a party entitled to damages. Upon request by an authorising...

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