THE EUROPEAN ANTI-FRAUD OFFICE (OLAF) CONTINUES THE REFORM OF ITS STRUCTURES

Press Release OLAF/05/2001, 3 July 2001

A little more than a year after since taking up his functions, the Director General of OLAF has begun the second phase of the redefinition of the structures of the Office. The Office will continue to adapt its organisation and work methods in response to new situations, but always with respect for legality, defence of the community interests and respect for citizens.

Mr Franz-Hermann Brüner, Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office announces the new modification of the structures of OLAF which constitutes the second phase in the reorganisation of the services of the Office.

"The goal of the new reorganisation is to complete the mechanism put in place in September 2000" Mr Brüner explained. The principal points of this second phase of this reorganisation are: the creation of a third directorate "Intelligence, Operational Strategy and Information Technology", modifications to the framework of the directorate 'Investigations and Operations' by regrouping the sectoral advisers into two teams of advisers, the first tasked with internal inquiries direct expenditure and structural funds, the other dealing with external inquiries and operations. Finally, the creation within the Directorate 'Policy, Legislation and Legal Affairs' of the unit "Financial follow up and Recovery" constitutes an application of Article 96 of the White Book on the Reform of the Commission relating to the more effective management of the recovery of unduly paid funds, in cases dealt with by OLAF."

The objective intended, at the time of first phase of the reorganisation of OLAF in September 2000, (see OLAF Press Release OLAF/08/2000All available translations.) was to have, for investigations, teams that were both flexible and effective.

The new Directorate "Intelligence, Operational Strategy and Information Technology" will be in charge of all activities connected with the collection and use of information. The specific character of these tasks will require particular qualification and relevant experience.

"Thanks to the activity of this Directorate, the Office will have instruments for centralising information which will contribute to targeting and setting the priority investigation areas and will increase the effectiveness of the investigators" Mr Brüner stated.

This Directorate is currently made up of two units "Intelligence and Operational Strategy" and "Information Technology", previously directly under the authority of the Director General.

An "Internal Investigations and Casework Board" has been set up. This Board will make it possible to rationalise the opening of investigations, to improve the follow up of same and the drawing up of reports in accordance with the rules of procedure.

The new structure which has just been created will, according to the Director General, make it possible both to strengthen the relevance and impact of the investigations and operations undertaken by OLAF and to have more effective tools to offer in all the areas of expertise of the Office quality service both internally to the different Commission departments and the other institutions, and externally with its partners in the Member States.

The new organisation chart (PDF) is available on the Internet.

Mr Alessandro Butticé
Spokesman of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)
Tel : +32 (0)2 296.5425
Fax : +32 (0)2 299.8101

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