Cooperation with EU institutions

OLAF investigates cases of fraud, assists European Union bodies in their fight against fraud and contributes to the design of anti-fraud legislation and policies in the EU. OLAF is part of the European Commission but is independent in its investigative functions.

As part of the European Commission, OLAF also contributes to the development, monitoring and implementation of the anti-fraud policies of the European Union.

European Parliament

OLAF works closely with the European Parliament, due to both institutions' mission in overseeing the spending of the EU Budget.

OLAF’s main task is to coordinate the Commission's position when the Parliament discusses matters relevant to OLAF's fraud-prevention responsibilities and when parliamentary questions falling under its competences are put to the Commission.

OLAF works closely with Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT), which monitors implementation of the EU budget, scrutinises legislation designed to prevent fraud and other irregularities and adopts a resolution in response to the Commission's annual fight-against-fraud report.

OLAF also regularly reports on its activities to the Parliament mainly through its Annual Activity Report and provides information to MEPs upon request, without disclosing information on ongoing investigations.

Council of the European Union

OLAF's Activity Reports provide the Council (Working Party on Combating Fraud) with regular information on its activities, including the findings of investigations.

As a Commission service, OLAF also works with the Council in drafting anti-fraud legislation.

European Court of Auditors (ECA)

OLAF and the ECA work together because they share the same basic objectives – protecting the EU's financial interests and ensuring sound financial management of the EU budget.

However, they have different mandates: the ECA performs audits while OLAF deals with cases of fraud and corruption and conducts administrative investigations.

Cooperation takes several forms:

  • The Court of Auditors informs OLAF of any suspicions or information it has relating to possible fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity (under ECA Decision 97-2004 on cooperation with OLAF).
  • In turn, OLAF provides feedback on the follow-up action it takes. It also provides the ECA with any information it needs for its audit work.
  • OLAF uses the ECA’s audit findings for risk assessment and analysis purposes.
  • OLAF and the ECA hold regular meetings, seminars and workshops.
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Last update: 29/10/2014