The EU’s anti-fraud office OLAF has launched a new tool which is designed to give whistleblowers cover and keep them safe from enraged colleagues and superiors. A new “Fraud Notification System” (FNS), as OLAF has called it’s newest offspring, allows civil servants and the generally concerned public to anonymously report fraud, corruption, misconduct and nefarious dealings within the EU.
According to OLAF’s director, Nicholas Ilett, civil servants working for the EU were reluctant to contact the agency concerning suspicious activities within their institutions. The notification system, which was officially launched today and can be found on OLAF’s website, allows whistleblowers not only to file reports, but also to receive and write to OLAF investigators.
OLAF describes the system as a “blind letterbox” where the two parties can post messages, without ever discovering their identities. This allows investigators to ask questions and clarify any blind spots or points of special interest, whilst protecting the informer.
OLAF has received reports by means of email and freephone numbers over a number of years. Nonetheless, people are afraid of reprisals. Closing the gap with the FNS will hopefully keep whistleblowers from hesitating to report people milking the EU.