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Decision in case 1310/2018/AMF on how the European Anti-Fraud Office handled allegations of fraud in the EU funding of a Latin-American human rights institution and a subsequent request for information

Δευτέρα | 12 Νοεμβρίου 2018

The case concerned the European Anti-Fraud Office’s (OLAF) decision not to open an investigation into the complainant’s allegations of fraud in the allocation of EU funds to the Chilean National Human Rights Institution. The inquiry also covered OLAF’s handling of the complainant’s subsequent request for information on how to contact the European Ombudsman´s office.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found nothing to suggest a manifest error in OLAF’s conclusion that the complainant’s allegations did not warrant an investigation.

However, OLAF could have been more service-minded in how it dealt with the complainant´s information request. The Ombudsman makes a suggestion for improvement in this regard.

Decision in case 1308/2016/PL about how the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency calculated the reimbursement of staff expenses of a grant recipient under the Lifelong Learning Programme

Δευτέρα | 29 Οκτωβρίου 2018

The case concerned how the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) calculated the reimbursement of staff expenses of the recipient of a grant under the Lifelong Learning Programme. The complainant questioned, in particular, the number of working days that the EACEA decided to take into account for reimbursement, following a recalculation of the applicable daily rate.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found the EACEA’s recalculation to be reasonable.

The Ombudsman also found that the EACEA had dealt with the complainant’s request that it review its initial decision in line with its internal rules of procedure. In the absence of a concrete argument questioning the impartial character of the review process and given that the complainant’s request resulted in the EACEA recognising additional expenses, the Ombudsman closed the inquiry finding no maladministration.

Decision in case 2033/2015/ZA on the European Personnel Selection Office’s (EPSO) handling of a request for review of a language proficiency exam

Τετάρτη | 14 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

EU officials are required to demonstrate the ability to work in a third language before their first promotion. When the complainant, who works in an EU Agency, failed a language proficiency exam in his third language, he asked EPSO to give him reasons for the relatively low grade in the writing test of the exam and also inform him of possible review mechanisms. In his view, EPSO’s explanations concerning his grade seemed inconsistent, while its initial reply about review possibilities was incorrect. Following the complainant’s insistence, EPSO agreed to reassess his writing test. The second evaluator confirmed the initial grade.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue. She examined the complainant’s test, as well as the assessments of the two evaluators. The Ombudsman did not find any manifest error or indications of partiality in the assessment of the complainant’s writing test. Concerning the erroneous information about the review possibilities, EPSO recognised its mistake and apologised to the complainant. The Ombudsman did not consider that further inquiries were necessary and closed the case. However, she made a suggestion for improvement concerning the information given to participants in language proficiency tests about the procedure and their review/appeal rights.