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Definition of Olaf (european anti-fraud office)

Olaf (european anti-fraud office) Definition from Government Dictionaries & Glossaries
EU English Glossary
Since 1 June 1999, the European Anti-fraud Office has been responsible for combating fraud against the European Union budget.

The Office, which was set up under the European Commission Decision of 28 April 1999, replaces the Coordination of Fraud Prevention Unit (UCLAF) in the Commission, set up in 1998 and confined to that one institution. On 6 October 1998 when addressing the European Parliament, Jacques Santer proposed making this department an independent body with extended powers.

The new Office can look into the management and financing of all the Union's institutions and bodies with total operational independence guaranteed by:

•the Director of OLAF: appointed by agreement between Parliament, the Commission and the Council, he is entitled to bring cases before the Court of Justice in order to protect his independence. In addition, he can launch an investigation not only at the request of the institution, body or Member State in question but also on his own initiative.
•OLAF's Supervisory Committee: it is responsible for monitoring investigations and it consists of five well-known independent external figures appointed jointly by Parliament, the Commission and the Council.

The rules governing internal inquiries conducted by OLAF in order to combat fraud, corruption and other unlawful activities carried out to the detriment of the European Communities' financial interests are set out in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 25 May 1999 between Parliament, the Council and the Commission. This Agreement extends the powers of the Office to serious actions which could amount to professional misconduct by officials and other staff and which could lead to disciplinary measures or criminal prosecutions.


•European Commission
•Fight against fraud

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