Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EURATOM) No 1074/1999 (Case 2011-0029), OJ C 279/02, 23.09.2011, p.11
The EDPS has adopted an opinion on a proposal for a Regulation which is intended to modify the current rules concerning investigations conducted by OLAF. The stated aim of the proposal is to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of OLAF, while safeguarding its investigative independence.
The EDPS supports the objectives of the proposed amendments and, in this respect, welcomes the proposal. However, despite the overall positive impression, the EDPS considers that from the point of view of the protection of personal data, the proposal could be further improved without jeopardising the objectives that it pursues.
Therefore the EDPS makes a number of recommendations that should be addressed by the modification of the text, and most importantly:
- the proposal should clearly mention the right to information of the different categories of data subjects, as well as the right of access and rectification in relation to all the phases of the investigations carried out by OLAF;
- the proposal should clarify the relationship between the need for confidentiality of the investigations and the data protection regime applicable during the investigations;
- the proposal should clarify the general data protection principles on the basis of which OLAF can transmit and receive information, including personal data, with other EU bodies and agencies, third countries and international organisations;
- the provisions of the proposal should give the Director General the task of ensuring that a strategic and comprehensive overview of the different processing operations of OLAF is carried out, kept up to date and made transparent, or at least that the need for this should be explained in a recital.