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OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office)

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was established in 1999 by Decision 1999/352/EC, ECSC, Euratom with the main purpose to investigate corruption and serious misconduct within EU institutions, as well as fraud against the EU’s budget. The legal framework that defines OLAF’s powers and competences is Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 (the OLAF Regulation).

According to its legal status, OLAF is of a hybrid nature. As an independent body, the Office conducts external investigations in the EU and in non-EU countries into cases of fraud, corruption and other illegal activities affecting the EU budget and internal investigations within the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies to detect serious misconduct by EU officials which could lead to disciplinary or criminal proceedings.

As a Commission service, OLAF is in charge of developing policy and legislation in the area of preventing fraud and protecting the EU’s financial interests.

Current revision of the OLAF Regulation, in force since 17 January 2021, resulted in enhanced effectiveness of OLAF’s investigations and strengthened cooperation with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) based on cooperation, exchange of information, complementarity and non-duplication.