Fraud and Irregularities

ECHO anti-fraud strategy outlines ECHO's approach to prevention, detection and correction of fraud and irregularities.

ECHO is enforcing anti-fraud measures by its partners, for instance through FPA 2014 requirements and audits, and the pro-active exchange of information on the matter, in particular in cases of detecting fraud and irregularities, including on follow-up measures undertaken.

Cooperation with partners is a key success factor for the anti-fraud strategy to be effective and thus in containing the financial and reputational risks at stake towards ECHO or the Partners.

If the partners wish to get more information on how to prevent fraud in humanitarian actions, they can make reference to the Handbook for humanitarian operations where they can find a useful menu of good practice tools for preventing and detecting corruption in humanitarian operations (this is not an official document from ECHO)

In case of fraud, ECHO put at disposal of the partners this email address: Here the partners can inform ECHO of their allegations of fraud.

Any information disclosed to DG ECHO will be handled in full confidentiality in order to protect the rights of those involved. DG ECHO handles personal data in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725. This is in line with the short data protection statement on the Europa website for reporting fraud.

References & useful links

  • ECHO Anti-Fraud Executive summary EN;ES
  • FPA Guidelines, Section 13.4 EN; FR


Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on a partner that committed substantial errors, irregularities, fraud, or on a partner that lied about certain required information or did not provide such information in order to receive grant, or during the implementation of the Specific Grant Agreement.


“Administrative penalties” means that a partner will not be able to apply for any Union-funded contracts or grants for a maximum of 5 years. If a partner commits another infringement, the period during which such partner cannot apply for Union funding may be extended up to 10 years.


Financial penalties are established as a percentage from the Union's contribution to the partner's Action and may vary between 2% to 10%.
In case the financial penalty is imposed for a specific breach and the same partner commits another infringement (e.g. in course of different Action), the rate of financial penalties may increase to between 4% and 20%.

Administrative and financial penalties may be applied both together and separately. Penalties will be proportionate to the seriousness of the infringement. Once ECHO decides to apply penalties, it has to formally inform the partner about its intention and give the partner opportunity to present observations. If the penalties are confirmed, the partner may contest the decision on penalties before the General Court of the European Union.

References & useful links