Showing 1 - 20 of 105 results
The failure by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to reply to a request for review of its decision not to reimburse IP costs under the SME Fund
Friday | 03 December 2021
The decision by the European Commission to consider ineligible certain costs declared in the context of a grant contract with an NGO
Thursday | 28 October 2021
Decision on how the European Commission monitored a school competition in Italy that it sponsors (case 1724/2021/FA)
Tuesday | 26 October 2021
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.
Friday | 30 July 2021
Decision concerning the European Commission´s non-extension of a project funded under the Erasmus+ programme (case 626/2021/AMF)
Monday | 26 July 2021
Decision in case 616/2020/DL on how the European Commission dealt with a contractor that had not paid its consultants
Wednesday | 19 May 2021
The complainant worked as an expert for an external contractor to the EU Delegation to Ghana. Not having been paid for her work, the complainant turned to the Ombudsman, claiming that the EU Delegation had failed to ensure that the external contractor respects its obligations towards the experts.
The Ombudsman found that both the EU Delegation and the European Commission had acted in accordance with the applicable rules when withholding some payments under the contract. She also found that they had taken appropriate action vis-a-vis the contractor to try to resolve the situation that affected the complainant. The Ombudsman considers that the Commission has adequate mechanisms in place to monitor contractors, and she trusts the Commission will use these mechanisms to monitor the situation and to take action within its remit if needed.
The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.
The European Commission's decision not to extend the duration of a project funded under the Erasmus+ programme, despite the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
Wednesday | 14 April 2021
Decision of the European Ombudsman in case OI/1/2020/LM on the European External Action Service´s decision (EEAS) not to pay a severance grant to a retired staff member of the EU Delegation to Algeria
Friday | 29 January 2021
The complaint concerned the European External Action Service’s (EEAS) decision not to pay a severance grant to a locally hired staff member in the EU Delegation to Algeria. The Delegation had supported paying the grant, arguing that this had been the practice based on an administrative note.
The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the staff member had no ‘legitimate expectation’, in the legal sense, to receive a severance grant. She thus closed the case with a finding of no-maladministration. The Ombudsman pointed out, however, that it was regrettable that the EEAS had failed to ensure clear and consistent communication to staff about the rules applying to the individuals in question. This lack of clarity left the staff member concerned with an incorrect understanding of the situation. As the EEAS is phasing out the relevant staff category, the Ombudsman will not pursue this matter. She trusts, however, that the EEAS will, in the meantime, ensure that the employment conditions applicable to the individuals in question are clarified.
Decision of the European Ombudsman in the case 1369/2020/JN on the European Commission´s decision to reject costs claimed in an EU funded project in the area of urban traffic
Thursday | 03 December 2020
European Commission's decision to include the complainant in the early detection and exclusion system (EDES)
Friday | 27 November 2020
Decision in case 154/2020/DL on how the Research Executive Agency dealt with a recruitment procedure carried out in the context of an EU-funded project under the Horizon 2020 programme
Monday | 09 November 2020
The case concerned a recruitment procedure organised by the University of Ljubljana as part of an EU-funded project, under the Horizon 2020 programme. The complainant claimed that irregularities occurred in the recruitment procedure, and reported this to the Research Executive Agency (REA), which is responsible for the implementation of the programme. Dissatisfied with how REA dealt with his complaint, he turned to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman found that REA investigated the issue and advised the university on steps to take to address certain shortcomings it had identified. The university followed REA’s advice.
The Ombudsman therefore found that REA dealt appropriately with the matter and closed the case, finding no maladministration.
Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 674/2020/KT on how the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) dealt with a procurement procedure for staff accommodation in Greece
Friday | 23 October 2020
Decision in case 2218/2019/MDC on the Research Executive Agency’s decision to consider ineligible certain costs claimed by a partner in an EU-funded project on the interoperability of unmanned vehicles (DARIUS)
Wednesday | 16 September 2020
The case concerned the decision of the Research Executive Agency (REA) to consider ineligible certain costs claimed in the context of a project that was co-funded by the EU: the DARIUS project on the interoperability of unmanned vehicles in search and rescue operations.
The complainant considered that the REA had acted in a contradictory and inconsistent manner, and should not have deemed the costs ineligible. It raised various concerns about the findings of the audit on which that decision was based .
The Ombudsman found that the REA acted reasonably and in line with the grant agreement. She therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.
Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 1035/2020/NH on the European External Action Service’s decision not to award a contract for security services for an EU Delegation to an African country
Monday | 06 July 2020
Decision in case 1878/2019/LM on how the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) dealt with a complaint from a participant in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme
Thursday | 02 July 2020
The complainant, a young Italian entrepreneur, participated in an exchange with a more experienced entrepreneur in Germany in the context of the ‘Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme’ set up by the EU Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The exchange was terminated early. The complainant considered that EASME had failed to monitor the exchange and he wished to be compensated financially. EASME allowed the complainant another exchange for the remaining period, but it did not grant him any financial compensation.
The Ombudsman found that EASME had investigated the case diligently and that its decision not to pay compensation was in accordance with the rules governing the programmes. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration. The Ombudsman made a suggestion for improvement to EASME for the purpose of ensuring that the entrepreneurs involved are duly informed of the intention to terminate an exchange early.
Concerns about an EU Delegation’s wrongful termination of a contract for auditing and accounting services in Mauritania
Monday | 27 April 2020
Thursday | 23 April 2020
Decision in case 2084/2018/NH on how the European External Action Service and its mediation service handled a complaint from a staff member about alleged harassment
Wednesday | 22 April 2020
The case concerned how the EEAS handled an e-mail with harassment allegations, sent to its Mediation Service by a staff member in an EU Delegation. In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the EEAS explained how the Mediation Service had dealt with the complainant’s concerns and why the file had been closed.
The Ombudsman found that the explanations given by the EEAS were reasonable. The EEAS Mediation Service handled the complainant’s harassment claim in an informal way, in line with its mandate. The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with the finding that there was no maladministration by the EEAS.
Decision in case 1698/2019/MDC on procedural shortcomings in an audit managed by the Research Executive Agency
Monday | 20 April 2020
The case concerned the decision of the Research Executive Agency (REA) to recover funds from a company, following an audit of its work on two EU-funded projects. The complainant considered that the audit should be declared null and void due to procedural flaws and the fact the process had taken over four years.
The Ombudsman found that the REA’s failure to abide by the deadline set out in the grant agreement for issuing the final audit report was regrettable. However, in spite of the REA’s delay in issuing the final audit report, the complainant had been able to contest effectively the findings of the audit. Moreover, the REA had engaged in a second, exceptional revision of the audit report. This resulted in a reduction of 85% in the amount of funds the REA was seeking to recover.
As the REA acknowledged its failure to abide by the deadline set out in the grant agreement, apologised for the delay in this case and also took steps to seek to avoid similar problems in future, the Ombudsman closed the case.