The ENI CBC Med Programme is managed and supported by a series of different bodies that are responsible for ensuring the correct, efficient and smooth implementation of the Programme and the projects. All countries have an equal say in the Programme decisions and in the selection of projects, in line with the principle of co-ownership. The Managing Authority of ENI CBC Mediterranean Basin Programme, as well as the National Authorities of the participating countries, are committed to protect the EU public funds that have been entrusted to us.
Therefore, we wish to be clearly perceived as opposed to fraud and corruption.
The term fraud is commonly used to describe a wide range of misconducts including theft, corruption, embezzlement, bribery, forgery, misrepresentation, collusion, money laundering and concealment of material facts. It often involves the use of deception to make a personal gain for oneself, a connected person or a third party, or a loss for another.
The Convention drawn up on the basis of article K3 of the Treaty on the protection of the European Commission’s financial interests, defines fraud, in respect of expenditure, as an intentional act or omission related to:
- the use or presentation of false, incorrect or incomplete statements or documents, which has as its effect the misappropriation or wrongful retention of funds from the EU;
- non-disclosure of information in violation of a specific obligation, with the same effect;
- the misapplication of such funds for purposes other than those for which they were originally granted.
Intention is the key element that distinguishes fraud from irregularity. Intentional deceit is not easy to prove but there are some tell-tale signs such as:
- Motive – Pressure for results, financial hardship, revenge
- Opportunity – Controls not functioning, staff changes/losses, tolerance
- Repetition – If not detected it is repeated
- Concealment – Attempt to cover up the evidence
Fraud does not just have a potential financial impact, but it can cause damage to the reputation of an organisation responsible for effectively and efficiently managing funds. This is of particular importance for a public organisation responsible for the management of public funding in general and EU funding in particular.
The fraudsters one may encounter could be:
- Members of the public – Either opportunistic or serial fraudsters, who take advantage of grants provided by your government or the EU
- Suppliers and contractors – Employees of external firms who spot the opportunity to exploit processes or systems
- Insiders – A dishonest minority working within an organisation and either perpetrating fraud themselves or helping fraudsters on the outside
- Serious organised criminals – Who target organisations to obtain funds fraudulently and work across a number of member state.
Corruption is the abuse of power for private gain. It undermines rule of law, distorts fair competition, and corrodes the social fabric of society and trust in public institutions.
Conflict of interests exists where the impartial and objective exercise of the official functions of a person are compromised for reasons involving family, emotional life, economic interest or any other shared interest with e.g. an applicant for or a recipient of EU funds. This is particularly important to prevent within an EU grant beneficiary when dealing with public procurement contracts.
The Managing Authority has a zero tolerance policy to fraud and corruption. We have identified the most likely areas for fraud in our programme and projects and have set up robust control systems, measures and procedures in order to follow up on all suspected cases that will be highlighted to us. With our participant countries´ representatives, we will furthermore seek action on national level in line with their administrative and legal procedures, wherever the need arises.
The Managing Authority expects all employees, as well as lead partner and partners, to be an example in ensuring adherence to legal requirements, regulations, codes of conduct, procedures and practices. Through this anti-fraud policy we clearly put forward our intention:
- to promote a culture which deters fraudulent activity
- to facilitate the prevention and detection of fraud
- to develop procedures which will aid in the investigation of fraud and related offences and which will ensure that such cases are dealt in a timely and appropriate manner.
The documents provided by the European Commission in the Note EGESIF_14-0021-00 of 16.06.2014 are available here:
- COCOF 09/003/00 of 18.02.2009 – Information Note on Fraud Indicators for ERDF, ESF and CF
- OLAF Compendium of Anonymised Cases – Structural Actions
- OLAF Practical Guide on Conflict of Interests
- OLAF Practical Guide on Forged Documents
The Managing Authority has established a self-assessment group on the risk of fraud to assess the existence of the various specific risks of fraud inherent in the following processes:
- selection of applicants by the Managing Authority;
- implementation of programme and verification of activities;
- authorization and payments;
- direct procurement by managing authority.
The results of self-assessment exercise was approved by the Director-General of the Managing Authority.
In order to prevent and detect frauds or corruption, this Managing Authority supports whistle blowing. If you wish to report suspicion of fraud, please send relevant information to the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org which is accessed only by the Director of the Operational Management and Authorising Unit.
Please note that sending an email to this email address does not replace national legal actions that may be introduced in parallel (for instance, a potential contractor may also consider taking legal action to request the cancellation of a public procurement procedure that is considered irregular or fraudulent). It also does not have any impact on the time limits for such legal actions.
Frauds can also be reported to OLAF following the link:
All information received by the Managing Authority regarding suspicion of fraud or corruption will be taken into account and investigated accurately. The identity of whistle blower is protected.
Anti-fraud strategy (published on 30.03.2022)