Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Coming into Force01 June 1999
End of Effective Date30 September 2013
Celex Number31999R1073
Published date31 May 1999
Date25 May 1999
Official Gazette PublicationOfficial Journal of the European Communities, L 136, 31 May 1999
EUR-Lex - 31999R1073 - EN 31999R1073

Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Official Journal L 136 , 31/05/1999 P. 0001 - 0007


of 25 May 1999

concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 280 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Court of Auditors(2),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3),

(1) Whereas the institutions and the Member States attach great importance to the protection of the Communities' financial interests and to the fight against fraud and any other illegal activities detrimental to the Communities' financial interests; whereas the Commission's responsibility in that connection is closely bound up with its duty to implement the budget pursuant to Article 274 of the Treaty; whereas the importance of action to that end is confirmed by Article 280 of the EC Treaty;

(2) Whereas the protection of the Communities' financial interests extends not only to the management of budget appropriations but also to all measures affecting or liable to affect their assets;

(3) Whereas all available means must be deployed fully to attain this objective, notably in the context of investigative duties devolving upon the Community, while the current distribution and balance of responsibilities as between the national and Community levels should be maintained;

(4) Whereas to reinforce the means available for combating fraud, while respecting the principle of each institution's internal organisational autonomy, the Commission has established among its own departments by Decision 1999/352/EC, ECSC, Euratom(4), a European Anti-Fraud Office (hereinafter "the Office") with responsibility for conducting administrative fraud investigations; whereas it has given this Office full independence to exercise its investigative function;

(5) Whereas the responsibility of the Office as set up by the Commission extends beyond the protection of financial interests to include all activities relating to safeguarding Community interests against irregular conduct liable to result in administrative or criminal proceedings;

(6) Whereas it is appropriate to provide that the Office ensures cooperation between the Member States and the Commission to protect the Community's financial interests provided for in Article 280 of the EC Treaty;

(7) Whereas, given the need to step up the fight against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities detrimental to the Communities' financial interests, the Office must be able to conduct internal investigations in all the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies established by or on the basis of the EC and Euratom Treaties (hereinafter "the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies");

(8) Whereas Decision 1999/352/EC, ECSC, Euratom provides that for the purposes of investigations the Office shall exercise the powers conferred by the Community legislator, subject to the limits and conditions laid down thereby;

(9) Whereas the Office should be entrusted with the exercise of the powers conferred on the Commission by Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities(5); whereas the Office must also be allowed to exercise the other powers conferred on the Commission to conduct on-the-spot checks and inspections in the Member States, notably for the purpose of detecting irregularities as required by Article 9 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests(6);

(10) Whereas these investigations must be conducted in accordance with the Treaty and in particular with the Protocol on the privileges and immunities of the European Communities, while respecting the Staff Regulations of officials and the conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities (hereinafter referred to as "the Staff Regulations"), and with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the principle of fairness, for the right of persons involved to express their views on the facts concerning them and for the principle that the conclusions of an investigation may be based solely on elements which have evidential value; whereas to that end the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies must lay down the terms and conditions under which such internal investigations are conducted; whereas consequently the Staff Regulations should be amended in order to lay down the rights and obligations of officials and other servants as regards internal investigations;

(11) Whereas these internal investigations can be conducted only if the Office is guaranteed access to all premises of the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and to all information and documents held by them;

(12) Whereas to ensure that the Office is independent in carrying out the tasks conferred on it by this Regulation, its Director must be given the power to open an investigation on his own initiative;

(13) Whereas it is for the competent national authorities or the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies, as the case may be, to decide what action should be taken on completed investigations on the basis of the report drawn up by the Office; whereas it should nevertheless be incumbent upon the Director of the Office to forward directly to the judicial authorities of the Member State concerned information acquired by the Office in the course of internal investigations concerning situations liable to result in criminal proceedings;

(14) Whereas the terms on which the Office's employees will discharge their duties and the terms governing the Director's exercise of his responsibility for the conduct of investigations by the Office's employees should be laid down;

(15) Whereas, for the sake of successful cooperation between the...

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