|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.25, 21.6.01, p3|
MEPS have won a commitment from Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer that officials who occupied high-ranking posts in the discredited anti-fraud department of Jacques Santer's administration will no longer be entrusted with key corruption-fighting tasks.
An 'opinion' adopted by the European Parliament's budget control committee on Monday (18 June) stated that Schreyer has pledged to transfer 10 senior officials from the Union's current anti-fraud office OLAF to other Commission services by the end of October.
MEPs have expressed concerns that OLAF has suffered because, similar to its predecessor UCLAF, it is still answerable to the Commission rather than being independent.
UK Conservative Chris Heaton-Harris said the unit should concentrate more on mismanagement on its doorstep: "OLAF has been spending a lot of time investigating fraud affecting cigarettes and bananas but the problems facing the last Commission were ones of internal affairs. "We know from events in the past that the Commission is not very good at listening to people who criticise it. "
The transfer of the officials is also being taken as part of measures to rectify a situation under which OLAF has 69 A-grades, even though it has only been authorised to have 53. Several of the "surplus" officials were "shunted across" to OLAF from UCLAF, according to one insider.
Established in the wake of the fraud and cronyism scandals which led Santer's Commission team to resign en masse in 1999, OLAF is being allocated greater resources and more powers than its predecessor.
With its operational budget rising from €34. 5 million for this financial year to €40 million for 2002, OLAF is due to eventually have 300 full-time staff.
MEPs have won a commitment from Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer that officials who occupied high-ranking posts in the discredited anti-fraud department of Jacques Santer's administration will no longer be entrusted with key corruption-fighting tasks.
|Subject Categories||Economic and Financial Affairs, Politics and International Relations|