FAQs

I suspect that EU money has been used fraudulently. What can I do?

Contact OLAF – we welcome information from anybody who suspects fraud or corruption affecting EU public finances. If you suspect something, you can report fraud via the channels listed below and your information will be treated in strictest confidence. You do not need to have gathered evidence. This is OLAF's role.

How do I contact OLAF?

You can:

  • report fraud online
  • email OLAF
  • Write to: European Commission, European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Investigations & Operations, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium

Which languages can I use to contact to OLAF?

You can use any of the 24 official EU languages to contact OLAF.

Can I report fraud anonymously?

Yes. You can report fraud to OLAF anonimously.
OLAF will do what it can to respect your wish for anonymity.
However, it cannot guarantee anonymity once the case has been passed on to national or disciplinary authorities.
EU staff wishing to pass on information about irregularities in their own department (whistleblowers) can receive special protection.

When should I contact OLAF and what information should I provide?

The earlier the better. Cases can become time-barred and crucial information can be lost if OLAF is not notified promptly. We would like to know who you suspect, and of what. If you have any documents to support your allegation, such as correspondence or invoices, please provide them as well.
Please don't let a lack of evidence delay you in reporting your concerns. OLAF is staffed by teams of experts trained to investigate fraud even when there is very little information to go on. If you suspect fraud, report it.

What if an EU official is offered a bribe?

If you suspect that proper procedures for awarding public contracts have not been followed, are concerned about elaborate gifts being offered for information, or believe subsidies have been illegally obtained or embezzled, then please contact OLAF.

What exactly do you mean by "EU official"?

EU officials are civil servants (permanent staff, temporary agents, local agents, and contract agents) working for:

  • European Parliament
  • Council of the EU
  • European Council
  • Presidency
  • European Commission
  • Court of Justice
  • Court of Auditors
  • European Central Bank
  • EU agencies
  • EU representations
  • EU delegations.

NB: OLAF is responsible for investigations into fraud, corruption and financial irregularities committed by those working for these EU institutions.

What penalties can OLAF impose?

OLAF  is an administrative and investigative service. It can only recommend what action should be taken by EU or national authorities following its investigations.

Financial: OLAF recommends that misused funds are to be recovered.
Judicial: If there is evidence of a potential criminal act OLAF will send its report to the relevant national authorities recommending legal action
Disciplinary: If professional conduct rules have been breached by an EU official, the case is referred to a disciplinary panel. The European Commission operates a zero-tolerance policy.
Administrative: OLAF can recommend changes to procedures which are susceptible to fraud (e.g. conditions for responding to a call for proposals)

How does OLAF work with the Commission's Investigation and Disciplinary Office (IDOC)?

IDOC and OLAF are complementary: both offices carry out independent internal investigations/inquiries within the Commission.

  • OLAF deals with serious suspicions of professional misconductin all EU institutions/bodies/agencies, including cases with a financial impact on the EU budget.
  • IDOC deals with other cases of professional misconduct and cases that affect the reputation of the Commission within the Commission only. OLAF passes on cases requiring disciplinary action to IDOC.
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Last update: 04/06/2014