ANNUAL ACTIVITY REPORT OF THE EUROPEAN ANTI-FRAUD OFFICE FOR THE PERIOD 1 JULY 2002 - 30 JUNE 2003

Press Release OLAF/24/2003, 2 December 2003

The Director-General of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), Mr. Franz-Hermann Brüner, has presented his Annual Activity Report for the 12-month period ending 30 June 2003. This Report concentrates on the operational achievements of the Office in this period. It contains case studies that illustrate how OLAF conducts investigations, together with statistical analysis which demonstrates the growth in OLAF operations and their increasing impact in the fight against EC budget fraud. OLAF estimates the total financial impact of the investigations completed during the reporting period at more than €850 million.

"The emphasis of OLAF's investigation policy has moved increasingly towards confronting fraud and corruption in those areas of expenditure which are directly managed by the Commission. This will continue. OLAF has maintained the policy of zero tolerance towards internal cases, investigating all allegations of corruption within the European Institutions," said Mr Brüner introducing the report. "The increase in the number of internal cases conducted by OLAF demonstrates our commitment to tackling fraud and corruption within the Institutions. This will continue to be one of our key priorities".

OLAF's other key priority for the coming year is enlargement. "OLAF is already operational in Acceding and Candidate Countries, with growing co-operation between OLAF investigators and their national counterparts. The main elements of anti-fraud infrastructure are in place. The proportion of OLAF's existing resources allocated to the development process has doubled in 2003 and will increase again in 2004. Nevertheless, the task ahead is considerable and should not be underestimated." üner.

Attached by way of background information are the executive summary to the Report, Mr Brüner's introduction thereto and the 'forward look' section of the Report.

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

The Annual Report
Additionally, digital photographsAll available translations. of OLAF action can be downloaded from our website.

A new stock-shots video concerning OLAF is also available from the Mediatheque of the European Commission (fax 02.2301280) and will be broadcast on EBS.

* The article 280 report is published by the European Commission as foreseen in the Treaty (see IP/03/1076
The Annual OLAF Activity report is published by the Director General of OLAF on his own responsibility in order to inform the EU Institutions and the public about operational activity during the year.

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