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The refusal by the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) to grant public access to documents related to contracts with a consultancy providing data analysis services

The complainant sought public access to documents concerning the relations between the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and a consultancy, which provides data analysis services. Europol identified 69 documents as falling under the complainant's request and granted only limited access (two full documents and parts of 11 other documents) to these. It invoked exceptions provided for under the EU's rules on public access to documents to justify withholding the other documents, arguing that disclosure could undermine public security and/or the internal decision-making process of Europol.

Based on an inspection of the documents by the Ombudsman's inquiry team, the Ombudsman considered that Europol was justified in applying the exception and withholding access to most of the information therein. As such, the Ombudsman concluded that there was no maladministration by Europol in refusing public access to the documents at issue.