The OLAF Supervisory Committee presented its annual Report in the CONT Committee meeting of the European Parliament on 23 April.
OLAF Director General Giovanni Kessler thanked the Supervisory Committee for its comprehensive and constructive Report. He noted that theSupervisory Committee had welcomed changes made during the year to OLAF's internal procedures and organisation which were designed to increase efficiency, to reinforce the legality of investigations and to improve the protection of fundamental rights.
Mr Kessler shared the Supervisory Committee's view that 2012 had been a difficult year, particularly in the early months, because the arrival of a new Supervisory Committee had coincided with a significant change in working methods in OLAF and with a substantial reorganisation of the Office. Despite these difficulties working arrangements had been agreed between OLAF and the Committee in September 2012, since when cooperation had improved, as the Supervisory Committee's Report acknowledges.
While the Supervisory Committee had expressed its appreciation of the improvements relating to respect for fundamental rights and procedural guarantees which had been brought about by the introduction of OLAF's new procedural rules, it had noted a number of shortcomings in individual cases which were however mainly due to the insufficiency of the earlier procedural rules.
Giovanni Kessler strongly rejected allegations to the effect that OLAF had made false statements in one of its Reports, had influenced a witness to make a false statement to the European Parliament, and had acted illegally in other ways. He drew attention to the fact that the Supervisory Committee's Report made no such claims. He regretted that misleading information and leaks had been circulated in an attempt to present the Report as making statements which it did not in fact make, in particular concerning violation of fundamental rights and procedural guarantees.
Mr Kessler expressed the hope that there would now be an end to the spiral of rumours and misinformation which was damaging for the credibility of the Institutions and for the integrity of the ongoing judicial procedures.
For further details:
- Publication date
- 23 April 2013
- European Anti-Fraud Office
- News type
- OLAF press release