Update on the situation of the secretariat of the Supervisory Committee of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Brussels, 29 March 2017

Note to Mr Günther OETTINGER Member of the Commission in charge of Budget and Human Resources

Subject:    Update on the situation of the secretariat of the Supervisory Committee of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

R&D is particularly satisfied with the reply received from your predecessor, Ms Georgieva, on the issues raised in its first message on the subject. This reply indeed confirms that:

  • the main purpose of the proposed amendment to the OLAF Regulation 883/2013 (EU, Euratom) is to further secure the independence of the Secretariat” of the Supervisory Committee,
  • the attachment of the Secretariat to the PMO is of a purely administrative nature”, that “the Secretariat will appear on the organigram of PMO as a separate entity”.

Additionally, it is confirmed that “the Secretariat will be located in an appropriate office space in the OLAF building, (…) on the second floor”.

As recently reiterated by the Committee,R&D is however still not convinced by the attachment of the secretariat of the OLAF Supervisory Committee to the PMO, of which mis­sions are of a totally different nature and welcomes your openness to possibly re-visit the administrative location of the secretariat of the Committee still this year.

R&D welcomes the recent election of Mr Jan MULDER, former MEP and former Member of the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament, as Chairman of the OLAF Supervisory Committee.

R&D is confident that the new Chairman will be keen on raising again the issue of a proper hosting by the Commission of the Secretariat of the OLAF Supervisory Committee.

Moreover several important issues are indeed still pending concerning the Supervisory Committee itself, such as ensuring an effective access of the Supervisory Committee to the OLAF case files, which was confirmed by a joint opinion of the Legal Services of the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, while the Committee and its Se­cretariat have been located outside the OLAF security perimeter and all connexions with the OLAF databases have currently been disrupted.

As far as the Secretariat staff members are concerned, the decision of the Commission entrust the Chair of the PMO management committee of ensuring the independent functioning of the Supervisory Committee’s secretariat and dealing with the possible disagreements between the PMO and the Supervisory Committee. This potentially covers a substantial range of issues, notably:

  • Setting up a stable, effective and fair procedure the re-positioning of Secretariat’s staff members, in case the Supervisory Committee decides to put an end to their pos­ting in the Secretariat. The decision of the Commission entrusts DG HR of this mission. However no specific procedure has been defined yet, especially taking into account the current re-organization of the HR services in the Commission.
  • Ensuring true career expectations to the staff of the Secretariat of the Supervisory Committee: no specific arrangement has been foreseen by the Commission before the transfer of the Secretariat to the PMO, while the decision of the Commission transferring the Secretariat of the OLAF Supervisory Committee to the PMO provides for a “non-revolving doors” clause, which will severely limit the mobility of the Secretariat’s staff, by preventing a move back to OLAF, after the end of their appointment time. The same deci­sion also refers to the “DG of origin” of the Secretariat staff, although they are appointed officials and not Commission’s staff detached on a temporary basis. R&D is asking you to take the opportunity of the arrival in office of a new and particularly experienced Chairman in the Supervisory Committee to reflect on effective and fair solu­tions for the Commission’s staff on these issues, in relation to their daily duties and their legitimate career expectations.

R&D therefore reiterates its call for further discussions, involving the Legal Service, DG HR and Staff representatives on the way to implement the modifying regulation in the most effective manner.

Cristiano Sebastiani
President  

Copy:                             

M. A. ITALIANER Secretary General                                        

M. G. KESSLER Director General OLAF                                        

Mrs I. SOUKA Director General HR                                        

Mrs V. Gaffey, Director PMO                                        

The Staff

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