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Decision on how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) assessed the application of a candidate in a selection procedure for administrators in the field of agriculture (case 381/2022/FA)

Montag | 30 Januar 2023

The case concerned how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) assessed the education and professional experience of a candidate in a selection procedure for recruiting EU staff in the field of agriculture.

The Ombudsman found nothing to suggest a manifest error in how the selection board assessed the complainant’s qualifications and, therefore, closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision on the European Personnel Selection Office’s (EPSO) decision not to allow a candidate in COVID-19 quarantine to reschedule a test (case 2223/2021/ABZ)

Mittwoch | 18 Januar 2023

The case concerned the decision of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) not to allow a candidate, who was placed in COVID-19 quarantine, to reschedule her test in the context of a selection procedure for contract agent staff (CAST Permanent selection procedure).

The Ombudsman found that EPSO provided reasonable explanations as to why it was not able to provide an alternative testing date to the complainant. On that basis, the Ombudsman closed the inquiry with a finding that there was no maladministration by EPSO.

Decision on how the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) carried out two staff selection procedures in the field of cybersecurity (cases 1159/2021/VB and 1224/2021/VB)

Freitag | 16 Dezember 2022

The case concerned the way in which the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) carried out two selection procedures to recruit experts in the field of cybersecurity who would fit one or more of three profiles. The complainant took part in both procedures and raised concerns about the scoring methodology applied by ENISA and the inconsistency of the scores he received in one procedure.

In the course of the inquiry, the Ombudsman inquiry team noted that the scoring methodology used in both procedures put candidates applying for one or two profiles only at a disadvantage in comparison to those who applied for all three profiles. This was not clear in the vacancy notices. It also requested explanations to ENISA on the inconsistencies in the complainant’s scores.

ENISA acknowledged the inconsistencies in the scores received by the complainant and offered to invite him to the next stage of both selection procedures.

The Ombudsman found that, as ENISA has taken appropriate steps to remedy the issues raised by the complainant, no further inquiries are justified in this case and closed the inquiry.

Decision on the European Data Protection Supervisor's (EDPS) refusal to give full public access to documents concerning the drafting of its implementing provisions on promotion (1995/2022/OAM)

Freitag | 16 Dezember 2022

The case concerned a request for public access to documents related to the drafting of the European Data Protection Supervisor's (EDPS) implementing provisions on staff promotion. The EDPS gave partial access to some documents, but refused to disclose parts of three documents, which it considered to be covered by the exception for the protection of legal advice. The complainant contested the EDPS’s position. He further claimed that the EDPS did not identify all documents falling within the scope of his request.

The Ombudsman inquiry team inspected the relevant documents. During the inquiry, the EDPS became aware of an error in the redaction of one document partially disclosed at initial stage. It remedied that error and granted the complainant wider partial access to the document in question.

As regards the other documents, the Ombudsman found that the EDPS’s decision to refuse full access was not unreasonable. Given that the documents at issue related to an internal administrative procedure, she did not identify an overriding public interest in disclosure. The Ombudsman also considered that the EDPS properly identified all the documents falling within the scope of the request.

In view of this, the Ombudsman closed the inquiry finding no maladministration.

Decision on how the European Parliament communicated with an applicant for a traineeship (case 1266/2022/LM)

Donnerstag | 15 Dezember 2022

The case concerned how the European Parliament communicated with an individual regarding his application for a traineeship. The complainant contended that he was shortlisted, interviewed and then rejected before the period for shortlisting candidates had formally started. He argued that this was in breach of the selection procedure rules.

The Ombudsman found that the Parliament had initially miscommunicated with the complainant, but that it promptly remedied this. The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration but encouraged the Parliament to improve the information provided on the dedicated webpage for the traineeship in question, notably about the possibility to interview candidates.

Decision on how the European Parliament assessed the qualifications and the professional experience of a candidate in a selection procedure for intercultural and language professionals (case 2133/2021/KT)

Donnerstag | 15 Dezember 2022

The case concerned a selection procedure organised by the European Parliament to recruit ‘intercultural and language professionals’. The complainant considered that the score he received in the ‘talent evaluator’ stage of the procedure, which aimed to evaluate candidates’ qualifications and professional experience, did not represent an accurate assessment of his relevant professional experience and his studies in the field.

The Ombudsman found no manifest error in how the selection board assessed the complainant’s talent evaluator and closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration. She identified some elements for Parliament to consider in future procedures and drew Parliament’s attention to them.

Decision on how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) carried out a situational competency based interview in a staff selection procedure (case 299/2022/EIS)

Dienstag | 13 Dezember 2022

The case concerned how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) conducted a ‘situational competency based’ interview in the context of a procedure for the recruitment of EU civil servants (‘administrators’). The complainant considered that he had not reached the minimum score required to be shortlisted because the interviewer rejected a clarifying question he had posed at the beginning of the interview. He was dissatisfied with how EPSO addressed his concerns.

The Ombudsman considered adequate the clarifications provided by EPSO on how the complainant’s interview was conducted. There was nothing to suggest a manifest error in how EPSO had carried out and assessed the interview. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration. However, she made a suggestion for improvement to EPSO for future similar selection procedures, namely that it communicate more clearly to candidates the types of questions allowed or not allowed during the interviews.

Decision on the decision by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT) to reject a bid in a call for tenders for editing services (case 2109/2021/LM)

Freitag | 09 Dezember 2022

The case concerned a procurement procedure for “light post editing services” organised by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT) and divided in different lots.

The complainant submitted a tender for one of the lots but the CdT rejected her offer, as it claimed that the complainant had not submitted documentary evidence for her professional experience. However, the complainant claimed that, according to the call for tenders, tenderers who had submitted tenders in previous procedures were not required to resubmit documentary evidence.

The Ombudsman found that the CdT provided contradictory information to tenderers as to whether they should resubmit supporting documents already provided in another procurement procedure. She therefore proposed as a solution that the CdT not renew the current framework contract for the specific lot at issue and, instead, carry out a new procurement procedure, providing greater clarity as to what documents tenderers are expected to submit.

The CdT informed the Ombudsman that it did not renew the framework contracts for that lot. The CdT added that it has revised the wording of the documentation used in procurement procedures to provide greater clarity for tenderers. The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with a finding that the solution proposal had been accepted.