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New system goes live for whistleblowing corruption and fraud in EU funds
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01/03/2010 00:00:00

A new online portal – the Fraud Notification System - has gone live today to allow the reporting, including anonymously, of suspicious cases of the use of EU funds to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). It will make it easier for vigilant citizens and EU civil servants to notify OLAF about possible offences, but it will also enable OLAF to gather clearer information at the early stages of an anonymous tip off.

"Citizens and business people frequently ask us how they should go about reporting suspected fraud involving EU funds to us,’ said acting OLAF Director-General, Nicholas Ilett. ‘From time to time we also hear from EU civil servants who, despite all the legal guarantees, are cautious about approaching us directly about cases where they suspect corruption is going on,’ he adds. ‘Our new Fraud Notification System should help everybody. First it offers informants a simple user-friendly interface. Second it gives people the opportunity to submit information to OLAF anonymously but nevertheless to enter into a dialogue with our investigators’, explained Mr Ilett.

OLAF has always relied on the support of citizens, businesses and EU employees in fulfilling its task to protect the financial interests of the European Union and to combat fraud, corruption, official misconduct and other irregularities within the EU institutions. The Office has been receiving tip-offs from across Europe via freephone numbers and e-mail for several years.

    OLAF is now extending this service to include this new Internet-based fraud reporting system. It provides informants with a structured format to help and guide them through the process of reporting offences. For the first time, the portal enables investigators to have a dialogue with anonymous informants. Anonymous reports have been investigated before, but there hasn't been a mechanism if certain elements need to be clarified. The new system operates like a "blind" letter box where both parties can drop messages – it provides for follow-up questions, but it also has the latest technical safeguards that guarantee no one, either inside or outside OLAF, can discover the identity of anyone who has opted to remain anonymous.

    During an initial pilot phase the Fraud Notification System itself will be available in English, French, German and Dutch. However, reports can be entered in the online form in any EU language. Several tip-offs have already been communicated via the new system during the test phase and some of them led to further investigation.

    The Fraud Notification System is accessible as of today via OLAF's website: >>>

     

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Last update: 30/10/2010  |Top