Answer to Written Question: Whistleblowers in the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union

(Source: European Parliament)

EN

E-001046/2021

Answer given by Mr Hahn

on behalf of the European Commission

(31.5.2021)

Article 22a of the Staff Regulations[1] sets out several reporting lines that all fall, according to paragraph 2 of this Article, under the European Anti-Fraud Office’s (OLAF) responsibility. There are no central corporate statistics though, as Commission departments and individuals also report directly to OLAF.

The Commission confirms that it had established a whistleblower ‘hotline’, i.e. an online notification system open for staff of all EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies[2].

As regards the messages received via this hotline, OLAF follows them up in line with its obligations under the OLAF Regulation and in full independence.


[1] Article 22a of the Staff Regulations reads as follows:

1. Any official who, in the course of or in connection with the performance of his duties, becomes aware of facts which give rise to a presumption of the existence of possible illegal activity, including fraud or corruption, detrimental to the interests of the  Union, or of conduct relating to the discharge of professional duties which may constitute a serious failure to comply with the obligations of officials of the  Union, shall without delay inform either his immediate superior or his Director-General or, if he considers it useful, the Secretary-General, or the persons in equivalent positions, or the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) direct. Information mentioned in the first subparagraph shall be given in writing. This paragraph shall also apply in the event of serious failure to comply with a similar obligation on the part of a Member of an institution or any other person in the service of or carrying out work for an institution.

2. Any official receiving the information referred to in paragraph 1 shall without delay transmit to OLAF any evidence of which he is aware from which the existence of the irregularities referred to in paragraph 1 may be presumed.

3. An official shall not suffer any prejudicial effects on the part of the institution as a result of having communicated the information referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, provided that he acted reasonably and honestly.

4. Paragraphs 1 to 3 shall not apply to documents, deeds, reports, notes or information in any form whatsoever held for the purposes of, or created or disclosed to the official in the course of, proceedings in legal cases, whether pending or closed.

[2] https://ec.europa.eu/anti-fraud/olaf-and-you/report-fraud_en

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