Monitoring the actions taken by the recipients of OLAF recommendations

The OLAF report 
. Monitoring the actions taken by the
recipients of OLAF recommendations
.. Financial monitoring
The EU’s ability to ensure that funding is spent correctly
and for the benefit of all – and to effectively recover
money put to fraudulent use – is key to improve support
for and trust in the EU and its institutions. OLAF’s work
in tackling fraud, and in particular its recommendations
to recover the considerable sums of money defrauded
from the EU budget, can play a major role in effectively
communicating the successes of the European project.
Yet there is often a significant gap between the
amounts OLAF re commends should be recovered
and the actual sums returned to the EU budget. The
European Parliament has repeatedly asked the Europ ean
Commission to provide information on amounts
actually recovered following financial recomm endations
resulting from OLAF investigations. In its 2019 special
report Fighting Fraud in EU Spending: Action needed, the
ECA also recommended that a robust fraud-reporting
system be put in place, flagging the important gap that
currently exists betwe en recommended and recovered
The Commission is committed to meeting these various
demands to improve the level of follow-up given to OLAF
recommendations by the Commission and its executive
agencies, in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of
the situation and to identify the systemic reasons for
under-implementation of recommendations.
The Commission’s Corporate Management Board has
taken responsibility for this process. At its meeting of
27 November 2019 the Board asked Commission
services to strengthen their follow-up and provide
relevant information to both OLAF and the Directorate-
General for Budget to improve corporate oversight. The
objective is first to obtain a clear picture on the state of
play of past recommendations, and then to establish a
robust control system for the future. OLAF’s aim is to
be able to report on the amounts actually recovered
following financial recommendations resulting from
OLAF investigations as of the OLAF report for 2020.
.. Financial impact of OLAF
investigations in the overall
detection of irregularities across
Member States are responsible for most EU spending
and they also manage the collection of EU customs
revenue. Their activities represent the first line of
defence against any attempt to defraud the EU budget.
OLAF counts on national authorities to perform their
work efficiently and diligently, and supports them
through active exchange of information and targeted
Under sectoral regulations, Member States have to
report to the European Commission any irregularity or
suspicion of fraud (1) they detect exceeding €10 000.
An analysis of this data is compiled in the Commission’s
Annual Report on the protection of the EU’s financial
interests (the ‘PIF Report’).
() A cas e can be def‌ined as fraud only after a def‌initive sentence
is issued by a competent judicial authority. This can take a few
years following the detection and reporting of the c ase to the
Table : Amounts recommended by OLAF for f‌inancial recovery - (€ million)
    
Amount recommended     

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