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The European Commission’s refusal to provide public access to parts of documents relating to an event attended by Commission staff members

The case concerned the European Commission's refusal to disclose the names of its staff members in documents sought by the complainant related to a corporate event attended by Commission staff members. The complainant claimed this personal data was necessary, as he was investigating a 'revolving door' move by a former Commission head of unit to the private sector.

The Ombudsman found that the complainant had provided sufficient justification of the need to have the personal data disclosed. She considered that, given the circumstances, the former Commission head of unit must accept a certain degree of public scrutiny of his professional activities after his move to the private sector. The Ombudsman therefore concluded that the Commission’s refusal to disclose the former staff member’s name in the documents constituted maladministration, and she recommended that it disclose the information.