The Intergroup on Integrity, Transparency, Corruption and Organised Crime takes note of the OLAF year report of 2016. In the report, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) emphasises a remarkable focus on cases relating to the European Parliament. In 2016, 34 investigations into Members and staff were concluded, with 25 recommendations for action. MEP Dennis de Jong, Co-President of ITCO: “We see the OLAF year report as further proof that we need a solid enforcement of the existing rules on code of conduct.”
The OLAF chapter on the cases related to the European Parliament relate typically to fictitious employment, fraudulent declarations of allowances and misuse of funds used for the benefit of national parties. In one case, OLAF recommended a clawback of 300.000 Euro’s from an MEP who had produced a fictitious work contract. “Unacceptable stealing from European taxpayers”, according to De Jong, who was the rapporteur for the discharge of the European parliament over 2015.
All three types of cases have been repeatedly in the news over the past year, with most recently the topic of the General Expenditure Allowance (GEA) as a cooperation of 48 journalists from all over Europe. De Jong, rapporteur for the discharge of the European parliament over 2015: “The GEA forms a similar accounting loophole. It is time my colleagues in the Parliament take the European discontent seriously and shape up their act.”