In 2014, OLAF investigated 1,417 allegations of possible fraud. It uses ZyLAB’s technology, and in particular its search and text-mining technology, to pursue investigations over very large volumes of data, including many new electronic formats across multiple data locations.
OLAF’s Director General, Giovanni Kessler, said recently:
We have concentrated on those cases where our intervention is most needed and can bring real added value – on complex investigations in areas such as structural funds, customs, smuggling, trade and external aid. These cases will contribute to substantial recoveries to the EU budget.
This point – the relationship between the cost of an investigation and its results (and particularly any recoveries made) is part of the Return on Investment (ROI) calculation made by all government organisations and companies when considering whether to invest in the tools and skills needed to pursue investigations. When very large volumes of data are involved (and who does not have a very large volumes of data these days?) part of the calculation involves the time taken to conduct the data analysis phase of the enquiry. Like everyone else, OLAF needs to cut down the time it takes to decide whether to pursue a case, having regard to the time and resources required and the likely recovery.
You can read more about this in a ZyLAB press release ZyLAB customer OLAF reports “a strong investigative performance” and in a ZyLAB blog post called OLAF: investigating twice the allegations with half the resources.