New OLAF Director-General pledges effective fight against EU fraud
OLAF /11/02 Brussels, 14 February 2011
The new Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Mr Giovanni Kessler, has taken up his functions today. “I am honoured to take up my duties at OLAF today. As Europe is struggling with budget cuts and austerity packages, OLAF’s mission to fight fraud and protect the EU’s financial interests is more important than ever. I will therefore strive to manage OLAF efficiently while safeguarding its operational independence. I also intend to work closely with the European Commission, Parliament and Member States and play an active part in the reform process outlined in the Lisbon treaty”, said Giovanni Kessler.
Mr Kessler heads up a Directorate-General comprising four Directorates and some 500 staff, with a budget of around €50 million. As OLAF’s Director-General he has full responsibility for its independent administrative investigations. Mr Kessler will also manage the European Anti-Fraud Office’s role in assisting Member States by organising close and regular cooperation between their competent authorities, in order to coordinate activities aimed at protecting the EU budget against fraud. Finally, Mr Kessler will be responsible for contributing to the Commission’s anti-fraud strategy.
Giovanni Kessler, aged 54, has been Italian High Commissioner to combat counterfeiting and Public Prosecutor. Before arriving at OLAF he was President of the legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Trento and President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE). He has now given up all previous functions.
OLAF’s (European Anti-Fraud Office) mission is protecting the financial interests of the European Union, and fighting fraud, corruption and any other irregular activity, including misconduct within the European Institutions. OLAF is part of the European Commission, but remains independent in its operational and investigative functions.
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