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The operation of controls by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in the United Kingdom

by Dr. Gerswid Altenhoff-Weber

Fraud and irregularities place a heavy burden on the financial budget of the European Community. Since only a consolidated Community can meet the increased requirements resulting from its enlargement, the fight against such behaviour is of great importance for the progress of European integration. Since 1999, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has been responsible for protecting Community finances. The focus of its work is on the on-the-spot checks which OLAF is allowed to carry out independently in the individual Member States. According to Community law, OLAF inspectors should carry out the checks under the same conditions as national inspectors. This means that not only Community law but also the national law of each Member State regulates the scope of OLAF's control powers. This paper examines the powers of OLAF in relation to controls in the UK and the procedural obligations to which OLAF controllers are subject. The paper explains the relationship between the respective European and national regulations.

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