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OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office)

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was set up in 1999 to investigate corruption and serious misconduct within EU institutions, as well as fraud against the EU’s budget.

OLAF investigates within EU bodies to detect fraud, corruption, and other illegal activity affecting the EU’s financial interests. It also looks into matters relating to the discharge of professional duties not affecting EU financial interests.

In addition, it also investigates external individuals or organisations to detect fraud or other irregular conduct (for example, in the operation of EU funding programmes or customs frauds), often in cooperation with EU countries’ authorities and sometimes those of non-EU countries.

In 2013, new laws resulted in greater independence for OLAF and more efficient working procedures.

Since 2012, OLAF has recommended that a total of €686.8 million be recovered by the competent authorities.