Giovanni Kessler, the Director General of OLAF, was appearing before the European Parliament Committee speaking to a report which showed that they issued a record number of recommendations for legal action and prosecution against fraudsters last year.
UKIP’s North East MEP Jonathan Arnott asked “Mr. Kessler, you tell us that reports of potential fraud are at their highest level and that it is set to rise still further in 2014. You also tell us that you are issuing more recommendations because you are finding more evidence of actual fraud. Now it seems to me that that increase must be the result of one of two things. Either it is that the actual level of fraud is increasing year upon year, or it is that the success rate in detecting that fraud is getting better year on year…I know I’m asking you to speculate here, but which of those is the most accurate?”
In his response, Mr. Kessler said “Mr. Arnott put me a simple question…let me give you a simple answer. It is a bit of a mix of both. We had more incoming information and more recommendations.”
Jonathan Arnott said “Taxpayers would be alarmed to learn that OLAF is detecting hundreds of cases of fraud each year, with no-one knowing the full extent of the problem. Worse still, although they’re catching more it seems that fraud is on the rise. Even a single case of fraud would still be too much, because it’s our taxes that are being wasted when it happens.”
For the full question and answer, please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3cxuZl1ofU