Parliament adopted, in its third reading, on Thursday, January 21st, a new law “Law on Support of the European Anti-Fraud Office”. It is designed to provide effective support to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in its administrative investigations aimed at protecting the financial interests of the European Union (EU) from fraud, corruption and other illegal activities.
“Protecting the financial interests of the European Union and combating fraud and corruption are, by their nature, protection for every European citizen and his money. It is also the protection of the economy and the democratic order in Latvia. It is important to intensify the fight against organized crime, which deceives taxpayers’ money from the EU budget every year.” Recalls Finance Minister Janice Reyes.
OLAF’s mission is to detect, investigate and prevent fraud related to European Union funds. The new law also defines the rights of the Ministry of Finance, which, as the competent authority, provides support for CTC investigations.
OLAF’s main tasks include an independent investigation into fraud and corruption related to EU funds to ensure that EU taxpayer money goes to projects that can create jobs and growth in Europe. It is also important to enhance citizens’ confidence in EU institutions by investigating serious violations committed by EU officials and employees of EU institutions, as well as developing a sound EU policy to combat fraud.
In the exercise of its independent investigative function, the European Anti-Fraud Office may investigate cases of fraud, corruption and any other criminal activity affecting the financial interests of the European Union with regard to:
- For all EU spending, the headlines are structural funds, agricultural policy, rural development funds, direct spending and foreign aid;
- Some areas of EU revenue, especially customs duties;
- Allegations of gross misconduct by EU officials and employees of EU institutions.
Ministry of Finance