European Anti-Fraud Office

Evaluation of OLAF Regulation No. 883/2013

Evaluation of OLAF Regulation No. 883/2013

Introduction

Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU, Article 325), the European Union and its member states must combat fraud and any other illegal activities affecting the EU's financial interests. The European Parliament and the Council are to adopt measures to ensure effective protection of the EU financial interests. The Commission – responsible for implementing the EU budget in cooperation with member states – is tasked with establishing a framework for detecting and preventing fraud effectively.

In 1999, the Commission set up the European Anti-Fraud Office to investigate fraud and any other illegal activity affecting EU financial interests, and to help EU member states fight fraud. The exercise of OLAF's mandate is now governed by Regulation No. 883/2013, which refers to the Commission's investigatory powers: fighting fraud, corruption and any other illegal activity affecting the EU's financial interests.

Article 19 of Regulation No. 883/2013 states that the Commission must, by 2 October 2017, provide the European Parliament and the Council with a report evaluating the application of the Regulation. It must be accompanied by the Supervisory Committee's opinion and must state whether the Regulation needs amending.

Evaluation of the application of Regulation No 883/2013

The roadmap for the evaluation of Regulation's application defines the overall scope and aim of the exercise. It sets out some key questions to be addressed in relation to the standard evaluation criteria of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and coherence referred to in the Better Regulation Guidelines. It is assumed that OLAF meets the criterion of EU added value because it carries out a specifically EU-related task that cannot be performed in the same way by individual countries - protecting the EU's financial interests, as outlined in Articles 317 and 325 TFEU.

There is also a need to assess how Regulation No. 883/2013 is working in the wider context of changing anti-fraud landscape. One key issue in this regard is what impact the proposed European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) would have on OLAF's investigative role.

The evaluation covers the period from 1 October 2013 (when Regulation No. 883/2013 entered into force) till 2016.

Evidence gathering – how can you contribute?

The evaluation depends on collecting evidence, data and information. All interested parties must be able to provide input and make their views known.

Evidence, data and information will be gathered as part of the external study (call for tender 2016/S 058-097025) supporting the Commission's final evaluation report. The external contractor will interview OLAF staff including management and staff in investigative, support and policy units. Since the work done by OLAF's investigative units is particularly dependent on Regulation No. 883/2013, they will be among the main sources of information for its evaluation.

The external contractor will be asked to focus on consulting the following interested parties:

  • Commission departments
  • EU institutions
  • EU bodies, offices  agencies
  • OLAF's Supervisory Committee
  • EU member states (a list of relevant administrations and bodies will be drawn up with the help of an external contractor and the network of Anti-fraud coordination services (AFCOS)
  • Non-EU countries and international organisations that have worked with OLAF in the context of Regulation No. 883/2013
  • Prosecutors' and defence lawyers' associations
  • Academia (fraud and criminal law associations).

The list of interested parties and their consultation plan will be further refined with the support of an external contractor.

Interested parties will be asked about their experience with the application of Regulation No. 883/2013, including how they use the results of OLAF's investigations. Consultations will be adapted to reflect the elements of the Regulation that specifically concern particular interested parties.

The option of giving feedback on the evaluation roadmap will remain open for the duration of the project.

Indicative timeframe

  • October 2016 – March 2017 : consultation of stakeholders, data collection
  • March 2017 – May 2017 : data analysis
  • 1-2 March 2017 – Stakeholder conference on the evaluation of Regulation 883/2013 - Conference agenda
  • June 2017 : draft evaluation report
  • October 2017 : Commission report to the European Parliament and the Council