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Showing 1 - 20 of 2257 results

Decision in own-initiative inquiry OI/7/2016/MDC on the decision of the European Union Delegation to Armenia not to conclude a Grant Contract

Monday | 19 February 2018

This own-initiative inquiry is based on a complaint made by an association of Armenian NGOs called the Citizens' Protection League (CPL). It concerns the decision of the European Union Delegation to Armenia not to conclude a Grant Contract with CPL following the Delegation’s discovery of an error in its initial assessment of the CPL application. CPL argued that the Delegation’s decision was not based on sound reasons.

In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the European Commission acknowledged that the action taken initially by the Delegation, once it realised that an error had occurred in the evaluation process, was not appropriate. However, the Commission also showed that the error detected required that the evaluation of CPL’s application be redone and, thus, that the Delegation was not in a position to conclude the Grant Contract with CPL.

The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 668/2016/EIS on the failure by the European Commission to provide proper replies to a complainant about his concerns related to a state aid issue in Germany

Wednesday | 06 December 2017

The case concerned the European Commission’s failure to provide proper replies to a complainant who had complained about a state aid issue in Germany. The complainant took the view that Germany was violating the EU state aid rules because of its new funding scheme for public broadcasting. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that, since the Commission ultimately provided an adequate reply, there was no maladministration.  

Decision in case 1064/2015/JAP on the European Commission’s rejection and recovery of costs claimed under an FP6 grant agreement

Thursday | 22 June 2017

The case concerned the Commission’s rejection and proposed recovery of certain costs related to subcontracted activities in the context of an FP6 grant agreement. Arising from the Ombudsman’s inquiry the Commission decided not to proceed with the recovery of costs totalling almost 87.000 EUR. The Commission explained that it had decided to change its original decision on the basis that the complainant had acted in good faith and in accordance with advice which the Commission had itself given.

The Ombudsman welcomed this new decision; nevertheless, she found it to have been unfortunate that for several years the complainant had the prospect of a major recovery of funds hanging over it.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 208/2015/PD concerning conflicts of interests in a Commission expert group on electromagnetic field

Tuesday | 18 April 2017

The case concerned alleged conflicts of interests concerning members of a Commission working group tasked with reviewing the science on the effects that electromagnetic fields may have on health. The complaint to the Ombudsman alleged that the Commission had not examined properly whether the scientists in the working group had conflicts of interests.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue. She was satisfied that the Commission had examined the matter properly and that the scientists had no conflicting interests. Thus, there was no maladministration by the Commission. However, the Ombudsman found that the Commission’s procedures could be improved and made some suggestions for improvement.

Decision in case 689/2016/ZA on the European Global Navigation Systems Agency’s rejection of the complainant’s application for the position of Head of the ICT Department

Friday | 27 January 2017

The case concerned the selection procedure for the position of Head of the ICT Department in the European Global Navigation Systems Agency. The complainant maintained that the Agency had failed to assess his application fairly and claimed that the Agency should revise its decision to reject his application.

The Ombudsman inquired into the matter and asked the Agency to clarify a number of procedural matters. Based on the Agency’s reply and her own analysis, the Ombudsman did not identify any manifest error in the selection procedure. Therefore the case was closed with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 393/2015/MDC on the European Commission’s refusal to grant full public access to evaluation documents concerning a public procurement process

Monday | 19 December 2016

The complaint, submitted by the NGO Access Info Europe, concerns the European Commission's allegedly wrongful refusal to grant full public access to evaluation documents concerning a public procurement process for the 'Rehabilitation and extension of the waste water treatment plant of Subotica' (Serbia). The disclosure of the documents was refused on the basis of Article 4(1)(b) (the protection of personal data), Article 4(2) (the protection of commercial interests) and Article 4(3) (the protection of the decision-making process) of Regulation 1049/2001. The complainant considered that it should be granted full access to the evaluation documents.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration in the Commission's conduct.  However, she suggests that the Commission should systematically obtain, prior to their appointment, the consent of evaluation committee members in procurement processes to the disclosure of their names. Disclosure of their names at the conclusion of the evaluation process should be considered a condition of appointment to such a committee.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1206/2014/PD concerning the European Commission’s refusal to disclose the names of officials in a State aid case

Monday | 19 December 2016

The case concerned a refusal by the Commission to disclose the names of staff who had worked on a Commission State aid investigation. In the course of the inquiry the Ombudsman obtained the views of the Commission, the complainant and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

The question of whether the refusal to disclose the names was right hinged upon Article 8 of Regulation 45/2001 on Data Protection. Under that provision the person asking for disclosure must first show the necessity of disclosing the names to that person. If that test is met, the public authority must still establish whether the legitimate interests of the staff members would be affected by the disclosure of their names and, if so, whether those legitimate interests were more important than the necessity put forward by the person asking for the disclosure of the names.  

While holding that the Commission should not apply Article 8 in a restrictive manner when names of staff are at issue, the Ombudsman found that there was no maladministration on the part of the Commission in refusing to disclose the names of the staff members at issue.

Decision in case 628/2016/EIS concerning the decision of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) not to allow the complainant to submit a new application after he failed to pass the first tests

Thursday | 01 December 2016

The case concerned the decision of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) not to allow the complainant to submit a second application in the context of a call for expressions of interest which contained no specific deadline for the submission of applications. The complainant sought to submit a second application after failing to pass the test linked to his initial application under the same selection procedure. The complainant argued that EPSO failed to provide adequate replies to his letters concerning (i) the legal basis for not allowing candidates to reapply in selection procedures without any specific closing dates; and (ii) the conditions, including the behaviour of staff, at the test centre in Spain.

In its response, EPSO referred to the conditions set out in the call for expressions of interest as the legal basis for its actions. It also explained that it had investigated the matter concerning the behaviour of the staff at the test centre.

The Ombudsman found EPSO’s explanation to be reasonable and adequate, so the case was closed.

Decision in case 1052/2016/EIS on the Council’s handling of the complainant’s request to rectify a term included in a Directive

Thursday | 24 November 2016

The case concerned the Council’s alleged failure to properly explain to the complainant why it can take up to one year to rectify the text of a Directive, if any changes are deemed necessary. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the Council had provided an extensive and adequate reply. The complainant also appeared to be satisfied with the explanations given. The case was thus closed as settled.

Decision in case 204/2016/DR on EPSO’s alleged failure to comply with the rules of selection procedure EPSO/CAST/P/1/2015

Wednesday | 09 November 2016

The case concerned an alleged failure by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) to comply with the rules of a selection procedure.

The Ombudsman asked EPSO to adress the complainant’s concerns as a first step of her inquiry. These concerns related to the alleged provision of erroneous information about the tests under the selection procedure and a material mistake in the letters informing the complainant of the results of her tests. The Ombudsman found that EPSO’s subsequent reply provided comprehensive and reasonable explanations as regards the issues raised by the complainant and that there was nothing to suggest that it did not comply with the rules governing the selection procedure in question. She therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.