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OLAF must come before Budgetary Control Committee on Garda college investigation – Hayes

OLAF must come before Budgetary Control Committee on Garda college investigation – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today said that the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) must come before the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee to answer questions about the investigation into the alleged misuse of EU funds at the Templemore Garda Training College.

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“As a member of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee, I believe it is absolutely vital that MEPs should get an opportunity to question OLAF on the investigation into the alleged misuse of EU funds at the Garda training college.

“The Budgetary Control Committee has a responsibility to examine how money from the EU budget, approximately €130 billion annually, is spent. The Committee also supervises the administrative and operational activities of OLAF to ensure that proper financial control systems are in place.

“While not wanting to prejudice any investigation, MEPs should have the chance to question OLAF on the procedural aspects of the Templemore investigation. Basic information on timelines, procedures and reporting obligations in the context of the investigation should be provided to MEPs at this stage.

“Essentially there should be an ongoing stream of information between OLAF and MEPs on any essential aspects of the investigation, while respecting OLAF’s general powers of investigation.

“Investigations into alleged financial fraud, especially when it comes to EU funds, must be handled with caution. MEPs, who monitor OLAF through the Budgetary Control Committee, must be equipped with a high degree of transparency to ensure that fraud cases are properly investigated.”

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