European Anti-Fraud Office



The European Anti-Fraud Office is also known as OLAF, from its French name: Office de Lutte Anti-Fraude.



Following the organisational restructuring by the Juncker-Commission, Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) took over from OLAF the responsibility for the area of the protection of the Euro.


On 1 October 2013, Regulation No 883/2013 on investigations by OLAF entered into force. It brought significant changes to the work of OLAF and to its relations with various stakeholders. The Regulation further defines the rights of persons concerned, introduces an annual exchange of views between OLAF and the EU institutions and requires that each Member State designate an Anti-Fraud Coordination Service.
The Guidelines on Investigation Procedures (GIP) was issued. It is a set of internal rules that staff has to apply in order to ensure that OLAF investigations are carried out in a consistent and coherent way.


Significant changes were introduced on 1 February 2012 to OLAF’s internal organisation and investigative procedures aiming mainly to reinforce the investigative function and strengthen OLAF’s contribution to antifraud policies.


A new European Commission strategy was adopted to improve the prevention and detection of fraud, the conditions for fraud investigations as well as recovery and deterrence.

Giovanni Kessler was appointed OLAF’s Director-General.


A new, web-based tool, the Fraud Notification System (FNS) was launched by OLAF allowing citizens to pass on information concerning potential corruption and fraud online.


2006 was the first year when the number of investigations which OLAF conducted on its own account equalled the number of cases in which OLAF was assisting Member State authorities.

A major internal reorganisation of OLAF took place with the objective to place more emphasis on OLAF’s operational work, to improve communication within the Office, and to strengthen its management.


The European Community set up the Hercule programme to promote activities related to the protection of its financial interests.


Franz-Hermann Brüner was appointed OLAF’s founding Director-General.


Further to the events which led to the resignation of the Santer Commission, proposals were put forward for a new anti-fraud body (OLAF) with stronger investigative powers. These proposals resulted in:


UCLAF was authorised to launch investigations on its own initiative, on the basis of information from various sources. All Commission departments were required to inform UCLAF of any suspected instances of fraud within their areas of responsibility.


UCLAF’s powers gradually increased following recommendations by the European Parliament.


The Task Force "Anti-Fraud Coordination Unit" (UCLAF) was created as part of the Secretariat-General of the European Commission. UCLAF worked alongside national anti-fraud departments and provided the coordination and assistance needed to tackle transnational organised fraud.