On 14 January 2014, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and its Supervisory Committee entered into new Working Arrangements. They were signed by Mr Giovanni Kessler, Director-General of OLAF and Mr Johan Denolf, Chairman of the OLAF Supervisory Committee, and will enter into force immediately.
The text details the practical arrangements that the two parties have jointly agreed upon in light of the entry into force of the new OLAF Regulation last October (Regulation 883/2013). It follows temporary Working Arrangements adopted in September 2012, and is the first such full text between the two parties since the creation of OLAF in 1999.
The Working Arrangements also reflect the outcome of extensive discussions between the two parties and several other EU institutions concerning the independent investigative function of OLAF and the monitoring responsibilities of the Supervisory Committee.
The Working Arrangements mark a significant step forward in the working relations between both parties, by setting out:
The general information to be provided to the Supervisory Committee concerning the investigative activity of OLAF;
An agreed methodology for providing extensive information on OLAF investigations, whilst fully respecting the rules concerning the confidentiality of information and personal data contained in the relevant case files;
A timeframe for the provision of this information. This takes into account the monitoring needs of the Supervisory Committee to have regular and reliable information on the investigative function of OLAF. At the same time, for OLAF, this timeframe reduces the burden of continuous reporting.
By strengthening the relationship between OLAF and its Supervisory Committee, the Working Arrangements will enhance the support to OLAF's investigative function and to its independence.
The Working Arrangements signed Tuesday have been forwarded to the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council, and the European Data Protection Supervisor.
OLAF The mission of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is threefold: it protects the financial interests of the European Union by investigating fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities; it detects and investigates serious matters relating to the discharge of professional duties by members and staff of the EU institutions and bodies that could result in disciplinary or criminal proceedings; and it supports the EU institutions, in particular the European Commission, in the development and implementation of anti-fraud legislation and policies.