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Parliament accuses anti-fraud office of manipulating data

The European Parliament has called for a restructuring of the European Anti-Fraud Office, Olaf, claiming that the agency manipulated its statistics on fraud investigations.

In a resolution passed on 10 June, MEPs called on the European Commission to deliver an action plan by December to address problems raised by Olaf’s supervisory committee in a report published on 4 May. The resolution was opposed by the socialist and Eurosceptic groups in the Parliament, but backed by other parties.

In its report, the supervisory committee said that Olaf was splitting large cases into many smaller ones. According to MEPs, this is done artificially to improve the agency’s statistics and give the impression that it is working effectively and completing investigations quickly. “Olaf has been manipulating the statistics to hide the fact that investigations indeed take more than 12 months,” says Bart Staes, a Green MEP from Belgium. “This is a scandal. We need a reliable anti-fraud office.”

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