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Decision on how the European Personnel Selection Office dealt with concerns raised by a candidate in a selection procedure concerning the requirement to present a valid COVID-19 certificate to access a test centre in Bulgaria (Case 2099/2021/TM)

Dear Mr X,

You made a complaint to the European Ombudsman about how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) dealt with concerns you raised concerning the requirement to present a valid COVID certificate (or ‘green certificate’) to access a test centre in Bulgaria for selection procedure EPSO/AD/383/21.

In the course of our inquiry into your complaint, we contacted EPSO regarding the matter and gave you the opportunity to comment on its subsequent reply.

 After careful analysis of all the information submitted to us, we have decided to close our inquiry with the finding that:

There was no maladministration by EPSO.

In its reply, EPSO explained that the rules applicable in test centres are determined by the national authorities of the host country and applied by the contractor that organises the tests, in the case Prometric. EPSO does not have the capacity to monitor the applicable rules in each country; this is the responsibility of the contractor, which must then decide how to apply the rules in question.

EPSO stated that the requirement to present a ‘green certificate’ was published by Prometric on its website as soon as the measure was introduced and was communicated directly to candidates on 22 November 2021. Candidates had previously been informed of the testing options (either at a test centre or remotely) and how to reschedule a test. It was thus possible to rebook to sit the tests remotely. This possibility was open also to you. EPSO also noted that Prometric is obliged to comply with the applicable data protection rules.

The Ombudsman considers that EPSO’s explanations about its role regarding this matter are reasonable. EPSO also replied to your concerns in a timely manner.

While we appreciate that you may be disappointed with this outcome, we hope you find these explanations helpful.

Yours sincerely, 

Tina Nilsson
Head of the Case-handling Unit

Strasbourg, 04/10/2022