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EU launches whistle blowers site

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(BRUSSELS) - The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) on Monday launched a new anonymous online tip off system for "vigilant citizens" to report corruption cases.

OLAF director general Nicholas Ilett said that EU civil servants are cautious about approaching the watchdog directly about cases where they suspect corruption.

The new Fraud Notification System "gives people the opportunity to submit information to OLAF anonymously but nevertheless to enter into a dialogue with our investigators', he added.

EU fraud investigators have always accepted anonymous tip-offs but "regularly face the practical problem" of being unable to question the whistleblowers to obtain clarifications and details.

That has made it more difficult in the past to subject anonymous calls to the kind of strict scrutiny required to tackle abuses.

During a pilot phase the fraud notification system will be available in English, French, German and Dutch. The English site can be accessed at https://fns.olaf.europa.eu/cgi-bin/disclaimer_cgi?p=q&lang=en.

However, reports can already be entered on the online form in any EU language.

Even during a test phase, "several tip-offs were communicated via the new system and some of them led to further investigation," OLAF said in a statement.

The flow of information into the European fraud office has been growing steadily since its inception in 1999. In 2008 almost a third of its informants came from within the European Commission.

Fraud Notification System - European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF)


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