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Decision of the European Ombudsman concerning complaint 1604/2020/PL against the European Court of Auditors for rejecting a job application due to missed deadline

Dear Mr X,

On 18 September 2020, you submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against the European Court of Auditors (ECA) for rejecting your application to a post of auditor[1]. ECA rejected your application because you missed the deadline for applying, which was set at midday on 15 September 2020. You argue that the midday deadline was not clearly set out on ECA’s ‘Job Opportunities’ website.

After a careful analysis of all the information submitted by you, as well as of the reproduction of the call for expression of interest provided by ECA, we have decided to close the inquiry with the following conclusion:

The Ombudsman finds no maladministration in this case.

We note that ECA’s ‘Job Opportunities’ website consists of a list of vacancies with links to the relevant calls for expression of interests. In September 2020, the list of vacancies indicated the deadlines for applying by date, but it did not indicate the time of the day by which applications have to be submitted.

ECA sent us a reproduction of the call in question, in which the deadline for applying - set at midday - is clearly mentioned in the section describing how to apply. This seems to be the practice in all ECA’s calls for expressions of interest.

Applicants are expected to read the call for expression of interest before applying. Only by reading the call, applicants will know how to apply: at the end of each call, there is a link to an online form for submitting the application. The application has to be submitted through the online form.

On the basis of the above, the deadline for applying must be considered to have been clear to applicants.

The listing of job opportunities on ECA’s website is a summary of the vacancies and cannot be expected to set out all relevant information. We note, however, that in the course of the present inquiry, ECA has made improvements to the information that it provides. We see from ECA’s website that the exact deadline, with date and time, is now set out also in the listing of job opportunities, as well as in the beginning of every call and not only later on in the text.

In view of this, we have decided to close the case[2].

Yours sincerely,


Tina Nilsson
Head of the Case-handling Unit

Strasbourg, 06/01/2021


[1] Call for expressions of interest for auditors in the fields of (i) mathematics and statistics — (ii) data science, digital audit, data and network analysis, data and text mining, process automation and process mining, temporary staff (grades AD 5–AD 9) (2020/C 185 A/01); and corrigendum setting the deadline to 15 September 2020, available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:C2020/185A/01&from=EN.

[2] This complaint has been dealt with under delegated case handling, in accordance with Article 11 of the Decision of the European Ombudsman adopting Implementing Provisions.