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Showing 1 - 20 of 64 results

Decision on how the European Parliament dealt with a contractual issue with a conference interpreter (joint cases 1643/2022/TM and 2036/2022/TM)

Thursday | 04 May 2023

The complainant is a freelance interpreter who raised concerns about how the European Parliament complied with its contractual obligations in relation to the provision of remote interpretation services to the European Parliament during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ombudsman took the view that the Parliament had provided reasonable explanations for its position and closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

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.

Decision in case 784/2019/JN on the European Commission´s decision to reject certain costs in the context of an EU-funded project supporting education in Somalia

Tuesday | 13 October 2020

The case concerned the European Commission´s decision to reject almost EUR 50 000 in the context of an EU-funded project supporting education in Somalia.

The Ombudsman made the preliminary finding that the Commission´s decision was not fair. She made a corresponding proposal for a solution.

The Commission disagreed with the Ombudsman´s proposal and provided additional explanations for its position. The grant agreement, it said, contains a list of non-eligible costs including salary costs of the personnel of national administrations, at issue here. Declaring the costs eligible, although they are clearly ineligible, could create a precedent that the rules in question can be circumvented. In light of these and further explanations, the Ombudsman reached the conclusion that no further inquiries were justified. The grant agreement, read as a whole, supports the Commission´s position sufficiently.

However, the Ombudsman considered it regrettable that an organisation that successfully carried out a project in good faith and incurred the costs in question, should find itself in this situation. She suggested that the Commission consider how it could improve the clarity of the information in its ‘grant agreements’ with entities selected to carry out EU-funded projects, to avoid similar cases arising in the future.

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 1506/2018/JF on the alleged differential treatment regarding the daily allowance paid to an expert working on a twinning project run by the Delegation of the European Union in Albania

Friday | 20 September 2019

The case concerned the daily allowance paid to the complainant, an expert working on a twinning project in Albania.

The local Delegation and the twinning project leader agreed to pay a reduced daily allowance to the complainant. The project leader subsequently recruited two other experts whom it paid a higher daily allowance. Dissatisfied, the complainant asked that his allowance be raised with effect from the beginning of his work on the twinning project. The Delegation agreed to raise the allowance but refused to apply it retroactively. The complainant then turned to the Ombudsman arguing that the Delegation’s position was discriminatory.

The Ombudsman found that the applicable rules allowed experts to be paid different daily allowances. These rules also allowed the amounts of the allowance to be changed, but for the future only. The Ombudsman concluded that the Delegation had acted in accordance with the applicable rules and closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.