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Outgoing Commission proposes fight against fraud

The outgoing European Commission, which had just resigned over the Committee of Independent Experts report into Allegations regarding Fraud, Mismanagement and Nepotism in the Commission, nevertheless adopted an amended proposal for the creation of an independent Fraud Office w...
The outgoing European Commission, which had just resigned over the Committee of Independent Experts report into Allegations regarding Fraud, Mismanagement and Nepotism in the Commission, nevertheless adopted an amended proposal for the creation of an independent Fraud Office within the Commission.

The proposal will be transmitted to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament before being finally adopted by the Commission. The Office will replace the present Task Force for Co-ordination of Fraud Prevention (UCLAF) and will exercise external investigations in the Member States and internal investigations in all the European Union (EU) institutions and bodies.

The Office will enjoy the fullest possible independence vis-à-vis the Commission, since the Director may neither seek nor take instructions concerning its investigations. A Surveillance Committee, made up of independent persons who are experts in fraud prevention work, will assist the Office. The Office will decide on its own initiative to launch an internal investigation in an EU institution or body and to transmit case files to the national judicial authorities. In the case of external investigations, the Office will exercise the powers of investigations conferred on the Commission by existing EU fraud legislation. The Decision will enter into force on 1 June 1999.

The Commission proposed to take over the tasks exercised by UCLAF as from 17 March 1999.

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