OLAF seeks fraud information exchange

It suggested the idea at a conference it organised in Brussels. OLAF asked the 150 delegates to develop a system exchanging ‘information about detected fraudulent misappropriation of international aid funds’to ‘help donors and investigators cross-check their information about recipients of international aid and verify doubts about their handling of funds…’

Such a system would resemble the USA General Accounting Office’s FraudNET, which allows whistle-blowers to report allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of federal government funds by e-mail, fax or post. Tipsters can remain anonymous and are encouraged to provide maximum detail about ‘the who, when, where, what, how and how much’.

In a post-conference note OLAF said: ‘The fight against fraudulent misappropriation of international aid funds is an enormous challenge. The mere falsification and multiple use of invoice or the intentional non-realisation of a subsidised project are only the most obvious examples.’ More complex cases were highlighted by the conference, such as fictitious participation of organisations in a consortium to boost grant sizes.

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