ECB decision on the rules applying to OLAF investigations
Today, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) adopted a Decision (ECB/2004/11) on the terms and conditions for European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) investigations of the European Central Bank.
The ECB’s Decision is based on the 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) and has been adopted in response to the European Court of Justice’s judgment of 10 July 2003. It lays down the rules according to which OLAF would carry out internal investigations within the ECB in relation to the prevention of fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities detrimental to the European Communities’ financial interests.
The ECB’s Decision also provides that the ECB will fully cooperate with OLAF. Furthermore, it states that OLAF’s investigative powers are applicable to all ECB tasks. In exceptional cases, in which the circulation of certain information outside the ECB could seriously undermine the ECB’s functioning, the ECB’s Executive Board is the channel to grant OLAF access to such information.