European Anti-Fraud Office

How are investigations conducted?

How are investigations conducted?

The information is initially studied, analysed and assessed by a special unit of the Office. On the basis of this initial assessment, the Director General decides whether to open investigations and assigns the case to investigators.

The internal investigators examine the selected facts entirely objectively without allowing themselves to be influenced by the initial assessment. They assemble the evidence that serves to establish the facts and produce a detailed report. They may demonstrate the suspect’s guilt or innocence and/or establish where responsibilities lie on the basis of the post occupied by the person under investigation.

To this end, they gather and analyse all the documentary evidence and all the data available to them as well as questioning witnesses and potential suspects. Visits to the premises of the European institutions and inspections of economic operators can also be carried out in connection with investigations into EU personnel.

OLAF performs its duties with integrity, impartiality and professionalism, respecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and entities in accordance with the binding provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Its investigation units comprise investigators, analysts and specialists with diverse professional qualifications who are mobilised in accordance with the needs of the pending investigations, such as tax inspectors, auditors, computer experts, former military personnel, accountants, legal experts, economists, former customs officers, former magistrates, former police officers and former public prosecutors.