The Investigation Unit is mandated to examine and investigate cases of suspected fraud and corruption relating to the Council of Europe’s staff, funds, and resources.
The main activities
Monitoring of information
The Investigation Unit acts upon reports or other indications of suspected fraud and/or corruption falling within its mandate and conducts preliminary assessments and investigations, in compliance with the provisions of Instruction No. 65 of 28 June 2016 on investigations and Rule No. 1327 of 10 January 2011 on awareness and prevention of fraud and corruption.
Examination of allegations of fraud or corruption
The Investigation Unit examines the information reported as follows:
The Unit receives and scrutinises reports of fraud or corruption.
- Preliminary Assessment
The purpose of a preliminary assessment is to record and establish the basic facts, assess if the alleged facts can be substantiated, check what supporting documentation or other materials can be found, preserve and secure basic evidence and assess whether the opening of an investigation is justified. In case a preliminary assessment shows existence of facts indicating fraud or corruption, the Investigation Unit conducts investigations.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish relevant facts to prove or disprove allegations of fraud and corruption. It is a legally established fact-finding process conducted in an impartial and objective manner, with the aim to establish the relevant facts and make recommendations in this connection. For this purpose, it may consist of collecting documentary, testimonial, physical, electronic and other evidence.
In addition to these activities, the DIO might be requested by the Secretary General to conduct inquiries into breaches of the CoE’s internal rules when possible conflict of interest may exist in another services. Internal inquiries are conducted under Instruction 51 on internal inquiries.
- Reports are produced for all investigations carried out. These reports are of confidential nature.
- Reports produced in the context of an investigation are submitted to the Secretary General.
- DIO does not decide on disciplinary actions that may be imposed further to a preliminary assessment or investigation. The Secretary General may decide to transmit a case before the Disciplinary Board.
- The Investigation Unit follows up on the cases examined through discussions with relevant entities, memos and ad hoc reports.
- The Investigation Unit regularly reports to the Oversight Advisory Committee on the examinations performed.