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Decision of the European Ombudsman on complaint 1517/2007/IP against the European Anti-Fraud Office

Strasbourg, 10 September 2007

Dear Mr G.,

On 30 May 2007, you submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman against the European Anti-Fraud Office ("OLAF").

According to you, the relevant facts were as follows.

On 9 April 2007, you wrote to OLAF asking whether the fact that "cream of caviar", produced in the Faroe Islands and marketed in Italy, complied with the relevant Community legislation. You took the view that, since "cream of caviar" is not pure caviar, but rather contains 35% fish, trade in "cream of caviar" was contrary to Community rules.

On 11 April 2007, OLAF sent you a confirmation that your message was received.

In your complaint to the Ombudsman, you alleged that OLAF failed to reply to your request for information.

On 6 July 2007, I sent your complaint to the Director of OLAF asking for an opinion on the present case by 30 September 2007. In my letter, I further stressed that, in view of the nature of the complaint, it would constitute good administration to provide a reply to you as soon as possible.

In its reply of 20 August 2007, OLAF stated that due to an administrative oversight, it did not answer your message in a timely manner and expressed its regrets for this failure. OLAF further forwarded to me a copy of the reply which was sent to you on 31 July 2007.

In light of the above, I therefore consider that OLAF has taken steps to settle the matter and I close the case.

For the avoidance of doubt, I would like to make clear that this finding relates only to the complaint of failure to answer and does not involve an evaluation of the substance of the answer that the OLAF has sent.

Please find enclosed a copy of the answer which OLAF sent you on 31 July 2007.

Yours sincerely,