Schreyer sees silver lining in improved detection of fraud cases

On 20 October, Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer launched the OLAF Anti-fraud Communicators Network on an upbeat note.

At the start of the OLAF Anti-fraud Communicators Network (OAFCN) training seminar in Bucharest on 20 October 2003, Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer pointed out the importance of sharing information about fraud and corruption with the public.

Schreyer reasserted that OLAF had full independence in its investigations and that the Commission could not bring any political influence to bear on the anti-fraud body. She pointed out the unfortunate irony of a situation in which a public authority "whose effective controls show up irregularities is seen as riddled with fraud while in the others who do not publish irregularities nobody speaks about them. That is hardly an incentive to be frank in communication."

The Commissioner's upbeat take on the issue of fraud comes against the backdrop of the high-profile Eurostat scandal (see

EURACTIV 25 September 2003). An investigation into alleged fraud in the European Union's grain trade is also underway (seeEURACTIV 16 October 2003).

The OAFCN brings together countries from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Finland, Sweden, UK, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Its core aims are to prevent fraud, create a permanent dialogue between OLAF's External Communication Unit and its counterparts in the national investigation services, inform the EU citizen and give information to the general public.

 

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