Drawing on its accumulated knowledge and experience, OLAF helps the authorities responsible for managing EU funds – inside and outside the EU – to understand fraud types, trends, threats and risks, and to protect the EU's financial interests by preventing fraud of all kinds.
A number of legislative proposals are currently being considered by EU institutions and national governments:
Several Commission departments have cooperated in implementing a strategy to prevent fraud involving structural funding (since 2008) – considered an example of best practice.
In addition, several Commission departments have adopted their own fraud-prevention strategies (e.g. departments dealing with information society & media, and research & innovation).
OLAF gathers data from its own operational experience and a variety of other sources, including Commission audits, Court of Auditors reports, national partner authorities, open and commercial sources.
As well as using this information for its own investigations and analyses, OLAF shares it through these databases and applications:
OLAF issues recommendations for anti-fraud measures to Commission departments, EU bodies and institutions:
When systemic problems are detected, the Commission's internal auditors are alerted.
Examples of past recommendations concerned:
OLAF produces compendiums of anonymised cases which comprise a short description of the techniques used by fraudsters, vulnerabilities and fraud indicators ('red flags'):
OLAF organises training on fraud detection and prevention for Commission auditors (internal and external), and contributed to fraud awareness seminars for EU countries.
It also provides initial training on analytical tools and, for officers and financial managers, training on how to identify risk indicators.