Examiners slam ‘inconsistent’ German

The Welsh Assembly’s Deputy First Minister has been accused of giving inconsistent answers to auditors investigating the body he used to run.

A report into the European unit of the Welsh Joint Examination Committee(WJEC) was expected to refer to Mike German on Tuesday.

But the WJEC halted the publication on legal advice and consideration by the committee’s board, instead issuing a nine-page statement relating to Mr German.

WJEC Chairman Jeff Jones accused the Liberal Democrats Wales leader of failing to address questions about his management, use of a corporate credit card and overseas travel when he headed the unit.

The committee called in the auditors after a report by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers suggested the body may have to return more than £400,000 in European grants.

Mr Jones said: “There are serious discrepancies in Mr German’s answers which need to be answered.

“He was asked about an expenditure in Naples and says he can’t remember making that transaction – it cost us £67.

“Mr German gave the press in Wales his answers last Friday, hoping to stop you asking the real questions.”

One of several individuals questioned, Mr German was asked about use of the credit card, his management and foreign trips – one to Vienna while a Euro LibDem conference was held in the city.

It is thought the report refers to individuals named in Mr German’s responses who have not been questioned by auditors.

Mr German was asked 130 in the report. He stresses he has done nothing wrong and maintains there is a politically-inspired smear campaign against him.

He says the unit was in the black when he left in 1998 and denies being responsible for financial management in his post.

He said: “My expectation is that the WJEC will be as objective as we hope the report will be.”

A spokesman for Mr German said the WJEC should wait until the full report was published before making comments.