What is an AFCOS?
EU Member States are required to designate an AFCOS in accordance with Article 12a of Regulation 883/2013 to facilitate effective cooperation and exchange of information, including information of an operational nature, with OLAF.
Member States are autonomous in deciding where to best place the AFCOS within their national administrative structure. The placement of AFCOS should provide for its visibility and importance in relation to other relevant authorities in the field of protection of the EU's financial interests. Some Member States placed their AFCOS either within the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Interior; others established it as an independent Government's service.
What do AFCOS do?
The mandate of the AFCOS may vary, depending on country-specific circumstances. In all cases however, the AFCOS should have the mandate for:
- Ensuring co-operation with OLAF as required by Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.
- Co-ordinating, within the country, legislative, administrative and investigative obligations and activities related to the protection of the EU’s financial interests as appropriate;
Examples of activities
- Investigative cooperation with OLAF
- Supporting OLAF when performing on-the-spot checks in the country of the AFCOS, including fulfilling the obligations under Regulation 2185/1996 on on-the-spot checks
- helping cooperation between national administrations, prosecution authorities and OLAF
- sharing information on irregularities and suspected fraud cases with national authorities and OLAF
- dissemination of information
- leading the creation/implementation of national strategies to protect EU’s financial interests (and promoting the related administrative/legislative changes)
- identifying possible weaknesses in national systems for managing EU funds and initiating appropriate remedial measures
Apart from its administrative coordination role, AFCOS established as a functionally independent body or a service within an existing institution may be vested with investigative powers.
An AFCOS with investigative powers should ideally have a legal mandate which guarantees its independence in investigative matters.
- Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (ex Art. 280 of the EC Treaty)
- Regulation (EU, EURATOM) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
List of Member States' Anti-Fraud Coordination Services (AFCOS)
List of AFCOS (last update: 29.01.2020)
For any updates to this list, please write to OLAF-FMemail@example.com