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Showing 1 - 20 of 359 results

Decision on how the European Commission changed the sickness and accident insurance policy for Conference Interpreting Agents (552/2021/MMO)

Friday | 15 October 2021

The case concerned a new insurance policy that the European Commission concluded with a private insurance company to provide accident and sickness insurance for Conference Interpreting Agents (ACIs).

The complainant is a former ACI who considered that the conditions of the new insurance policy were very disadvantageous compared to the previous policy, and that it discriminated against certain ACIs.

During the inquiry, it became clear that the complainant would be less disadvantaged than he had feared. The Ombudsman found that the Commission’s explanations for the changes in the policy are convincing and reasonable. The inquiry also uncovered no evidence that would call into question the procedure leading to the new insurance contract, which included consultation with the international interpreters’ association.

The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with the conclusion that there was no maladministration by the Commission.

Decision on the European Commission’s decision to recover grants paid under EU funded projects carried out by a national police authority (case 1733/2020/LM)

Monday | 11 October 2021

The complainant, a national police force, received two grants from the European Commission for projects to fight transnational crime, which it carried out successfully. Following audits of the projects, the Commission found that a big part of the costs were ineligible mainly due to the lack of supporting documents. The Commission therefore decided to recover a considerable part of the grants. The complainant turned to the Ombudsman arguing that the decision was disproportionate and that the Commission had not shown flexibility. The complainant considered that the Commission should have allowed it more time to send additional supporting documents and that it should have done another audit.

The Ombudsman found that it was reasonable for the Commission to conclude that the complainant had violated its contractual obligations under the ‘grant agreement’. The Commission had acted in accordance with EU financial rules and given the complainant ample opportunity to provide comments and submit additional supporting documents as proof of the costs it claimed. The Commission had also shown flexibility by agreeing to review supporting documents submitted late. The Ombudsman thus closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 964/2020/JN on how the European Commission evaluated a tender in a public procurement procedure for the translation of a report on the judicial reform in Cyprus

Tuesday | 11 May 2021

The case concerned the European Commission´s decision to reject a tender in a public procurement procedure for the translation of a report on the judicial reform in Cyprus. The complainant considered that the Commission had been wrong in rejecting his tender because it considered he did not meet the specifications for the required experience. In the complainant’s view, the Commission should have asked him for clarifications.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission acted reasonably, and closed the inquiry finding no maladministration. She trusts that, going forward, the Commission will ensure that unsuccessful tenderers receive an adequate explanation of the reasons why their tender has been rejected, without having to ask for clarification.

Decision in case 1035/2019/PB on alleged maladministration by the EU’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency in a project audit

Tuesday | 04 May 2021

The case concerned alleged wrongdoing in the EACEA’s handling of certain matters related to a project audit. Specifically the complainant alleged retribution by the EACEA against a project partner which had in another context complained to the European Ombudsman. The complainant also contended that there was a lack of transparency and unequal treatment.

The Ombudsman found that the EACEA could have provided more information and better explanations to the complainant, and made a corresponding request to which the EACEA provided an adequate reply.

Regarding the alleged retribution, the Ombudsman pointed out that retribution by an EU institution against someone for having complained to the European Ombudsman is maladministration of a particularly serious nature. By implication, an allegation of such an act requires specific and convincing evidence to be put forward. In the present case, no such evidence was produced.

The Ombudsman also found that the allegation of unequal treatment could not be upheld.

The Ombudsman accordingly closed the case.