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European Anti-Fraud Office
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Internal administrative investigations

Scope of internal investigations

OLAF has a unique mandate to carry out internal administrative investigations within the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies for the purpose of fighting fraud, corruption, dereliction of duty and any other illegal activity affecting the EU's financial interests.

OLAF’s responsibilities go beyond merely protecting the financial interests of the EU. Internal administrative investigations may address allegations of serious misconduct involving staff and members of the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, serious ethical breaches or harassment.

To that end, OLAF investigates:

  • serious matters relating to the discharge of professional duties constituting a dereliction of the obligations of officials and other servants of the EU liable to result in disciplinary or, as the case may be, criminal proceedings; or
  • an equivalent failure to discharge obligations by members of institutions and bodies, heads of offices and agencies or staff members of institutions, bodies, offices or agencies not subject to the Staff Regulations.

Examples of behaviours that are subject to investigation, when allegedly involving an EU official, other servant, member of an institution or body, head of office or agency, or staff member, include:

  • false declarations and/or false documents, in particular false declarations of expenses; especially in relation to allowances;
  • undeclared conflicts of interest;
  • undeclared external activities;
  • breaches of the duty of discretion and confidentiality;
  • harassment or other inappropriate behaviour in the workplace;
  • ethical breaches;
  • misappropriation of EU funds.