Letter to Mr Ville Itala
Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office
Brussels, 14 April 2020
Subject: Specialised Temporary Agents in OLAF, your Appointing Authority Powers
U4U has brought to the knowledge of the staff representation the case of Temporary Agents in OLAF who were recruited years ago, in the interest of the service. This recruitment was carried out for OLAF to acquire expertise in the domains in which the Office performs its operational activities.
Such operational activities are performed in complete independence from the European Commission. A clear indicator of the said independence is that you are empowered with Appointing Authority (AA) responsibilities, including the recruitment of non-permanent and permanent staff.
Under your AA powers, you are entitled to grant indefinite duration work contracts to the said Temporary Agents. Thus, you may allow the Office to retain the expertise, the know-how of the very good employees that you have tested for years, at the satisfaction of your senior and your middle management of your Directorate-General.
Today, our Union asks you to act, as independent AA, to grant stable work contracts to the Temporary Agents in OLAF who are currently under contract at the office and who will have served many years in the EU Institutions or in the Interest of the EU. Why terminate their service without allowing them to continue providing their excellent services to the EU?
Similar actions were carried out in recent years by the Joint Research Centre and by other departments and services of the European Commission. Thus, this is an established practice. As the AA, you can take the final decision.
Also, we understand that, for the population concerned, :
the nationalities involved are underrepresented in the Commission and amongst the laureate of internal and external competitions;
their specific profiles and expertise cannot be recruited any more considering the current recruitment grades and salary scales (they are specialised investigators, division managers in police services and strategic and forensic analysts)
there is no specialised OLAF competition at AD9 and/or AD7 grades planned in the forthcoming year.
The human perspective of this issue also involves the uncertainties the families are suffering from, after initially moving to Brussels, adapting to a new education system and severing proximity links with families and acquaintances. After two contracts of 5 years each, the families are fully integrated into their new environment, it will be emotionally and professionally costly to relocate in their national system.