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Meeting of the Working Group on prevention and fight against irregularities and frauds

The Italian Court of Accounts, in the framework of the Contact Committee, initiated the establishment of the Working Group on Prevention and the Fight against Irregularities and Frauds in 2014. The first meeting was held in Rome on 18 and 19 December 2017, involving representatives of the European Court of Auditors (ECA), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the supreme audit institutions of Italy, Portugal, Romania and Malta and representatives of the State Audit Office of the Republic of Croatia (senior auditors Kord Kordić and Martina Jurjević). The Italian Court of Accounts presented the objectives of the Working Group and emphasized the importance of cooperation between SAIs in protecting EU financial interests by strengthening co-operation and coordination between SAIs and other relevant EU and national institutions.

Consequently, the objectives of the Working Group include strengthening the role of SAIs in the prevention and fight against fraud, harmonized treatment in EU Member States, strengthening the chain of control, making proposals for improving EU regulations and using existing irregularities databases. After the introductory seminar presenting the Italian Court of Accounts’ way of working and cooperation with other institutions to prevent irregularities and fraud, discussions were held between participants during which the opinions of individual SAIs and ECA on the mentioned topic were presented as well as the problems that need to be addressed in the planning of future activities related to the issue of separating the EU from national resources in the work of the SAI, the fact that SAIs have no sanction or judicial/investigative powers and that the databases available in the Member States are at different degrees of networking. Key questions were raised to continue the work of the Working Group, which will be analyzed by questionnaire or otherwise, after which work extension will be agreed as well as the date of the next meeting.