The European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF has published its OLAF 2017 report. It notes that academic and research fields are prone to fraud, as attested by the significant number of fraud cases uncovered by OLAF in the past years. In particular, the secondment of researchers has become a lucrative business for fraudsters, with individuals, research institutes or companies pocketing EU money for academic or professional exchanges which never actually take place, or projects that never come to fruition. The total damage to the EU financial interests exceeded EUR 800 000 – about 0.026 % of the total fraud damage estimated by OLAF at 3 billion Euro overall. With an annual H2020 budget of let’s say 10 billion in 2017 on a total budget of about 160, research takes 6% of the budget but involves 0,026% of the fraud.
So the message that research fraud is a serious issue may not be seen as firmly based in facts.