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Failure to deal properly with requests for public access to documents [Article 23 ECGAB]

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Showing 1 - 20 of 615 results

Decision in case 2165/2019/MIG on the European Commission’s refusal to make public two invoices for expenses relating to an official visit to Buenos Aires by the then President of the Commission

Wednesday | 04 November 2020

The case concerned a request for public access to documents detailing the expenses relating to an official visit by the then President of the European Commission to Buenos Aires to attend the G20 summit. The Commission identified two invoices as falling within the scope of the request but refused access relying on the need to protect personal data.

The Ombudsman found that the access request could be addressed by disclosing information on the nature of the expenses at issue and made a corresponding proposal for a solution. The Ombudsman also suggested that such information be proactively disclosed in certain circumstances.

The Commission accepted the Ombudsman’s proposal for a solution and agreed proactively to disclose information on the nature of such miscellaneous costs in future.

The Ombudsman welcomed the Commission’s positive response and commended it for the steps it has already taken towards greater transparency of Commissioners’ expenses. On this basis, she closed the inquiry.

Decision in case 2252/2019/DL on the European Food Safety Authority's refusal to grant access to documents related to the approval of a reasoned opinion on maximum residue limits for pesticides in food

Friday | 30 October 2020

The complainant sought public access to two emails regarding what the complainant considered to be modifications to a scientific opinion on maximum residue limits for pesticides in food.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) refused access to the emails, arguing that they constitute personal data.

The Ombudsman found that one email constituted personal data and that EFSA was justified in refusing access, in line with the EU law on data protection and public access to documents. The other email, however, could not be considered sensitive as its substantive content did not include any private views or personal data. The Ombudsman therefore made a proposal for a solution, asking EFSA to disclose this email, with appropriate redactions of personal data only.  

EFSA accepted the Ombudsman’s proposal for a solution and granted the complainant partial access to the email, only redacting personal data.  

While acknowledging that the complainant remains dissatisfied, the Ombudsman is of the view that EFSA has given a satisfactory response to her proposal for a solution and closes the inquiry.