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Decisión de la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo con motivo de su investigación estratégica OI/4/2016/EA sobre el tratamiento dado por la Comisión Europea a las personas con discapacidades en virtud del Régimen Común de Seguro de Enfermedad para el personal de la UE

Jueves | 04 abril 2019

En 2015, un comité de la ONU determinó que el régimen de seguro de enfermedad para los miembros del personal de la UE ―el Régimen Común de Seguro de Enfermedad (RCSE)― contravenía la Convención de la ONU sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad (CDPD). Este comité recomendó la revisión del RCSE al objeto de que ofreciera una cobertura global para las necesidades de atención sanitaria relacionadas con discapacidades.

Tras recibir reclamaciones de miembros del personal que habían experimentado problemas para obtener el reembolso íntegro de los gastos médicos en que ellos o sus familiares hubieran incurrido, la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo llevó a cabo una investigación estratégica, en la que concluyó que la no adopción por parte de la Comisión Europea de medidas eficaces siguiendo la recomendación del comité representaba un caso de mala administración. Por tanto, recomendó que la Comisión revisara las normas que regulan el RCSE. Además, realizó varias sugerencias a la Comisión sobre la cobertura que el RCSE ofrece a las personas con discapacidades y sobre la necesidad de formar al personal y consultar a todas las partes interesadas para garantizar que este régimen aborde las necesidades de las personas con discapacidades.

La Comisión contestó que revisaría las normas que regulan el RCSE y adoptaría las medidas necesarias para dar seguimiento a la mayoría de las sugerencias de la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo.

Habida cuenta de que la Comisión aceptó su recomendación, la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo archivó la investigación estratégica, pero, por la importancia del asunto, solicitó a la Comisión que, en un plazo máximo de seis meses, le informara de las medidas adoptadas para aplicar la recomendación. La Defensora del Pueblo Europeo también confirmó su sugerencia a la Comisión en la que le instaba a revisar sus normas de 2004 sobre la consideración de las necesidades de los miembros del personal con discapacidades.

Decision in case 1455/2015/JAP on the conditions at a test centre for a selection competition organised by the European Personnel Selection Office

Martes | 07 noviembre 2017

The case concerned the European Personnel Selection Office’s (EPSO) handling of a complaint about the conditions at a test centre for a selection competition for EU civil servants. The complainant had been assigned a computer beside the entrance door, and claimed the disruption caused by people entering and leaving the room negatively affected her performance. Her attempts to have her concerns dealt with by staff at the test centre were unsuccessful and she subsequently complained to EPSO. Dissatisfied with how EPSO dealt with her complaint, she then turned to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and requested that EPSO look into the complaint more thoroughly. The Ombudsman’s inquiry team also met with representatives from EPSO and the contractor responsible for managing the tests, and visited a test centre at EPSO’s headquarters. The Ombudsman concluded that, overall, further inquiries in this case were not justified; however, she made a number of suggestions for improvement to EPSO.

Decision in case 969/2016/JN on the rejection by the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine of the complainant’s application in a selection procedure

Viernes | 13 enero 2017

The case concerned the rejection by the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) of the complainant’s application in a selection procedure. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration as regards the rejection of the application. The Ombudsman further found that a one-level administrative review mechanism is sufficient. Finally, the Ombudsman was pleased to be informed that the European External Action Service has now decided to amend the message it sends to rejected candidates in order to include information on available remedies.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 52/2014/EIS concerning the decision of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) to have due regard to the force majeure principle in open competitions

Jueves | 17 noviembre 2016

The complainant, who works for the Court of Justice of the European Union on a temporary contract, applied for an EPSO competition to recruit conference interpreters. The Notice of Competition stated that completed applications had to be submitted by 6 August 2013 at noon. The complainant missed the deadline. On 7 August 2013, she informed EPSO that she had been hospitalised from 5 to 6 August 2013 and therefore had not been able to complete her application on time. On 7 August 2013, she requested EPSO to extend the deadline. EPSO refused. Its main reason for refusing was, it stated, that it must treat all applicants equally.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and made the preliminary finding that EPSO had failed to consider whether the complainant’s circumstances amounted to a situation of force majeure. She thus recommended that EPSO (i) acknowledge that there are situations where, because of force majeure, it is fair and proper that candidates should be given a new deadline; (ii) clarify the circumstances in which such a new deadline should be set; and (iii) inform candidates accordingly. EPSO initially rejected the Ombudsman's recommendations and argued that it would be difficult to draw a line between different justifications put forward by candidates and to set out how candidates would prove that force majeure had occurred. It added that allowing candidates to invoke force majeure would jeopardise both the smooth running of open competitions and the equal treatment of candidates. It also referred to statistics which, it argued, proved that dealing with all the requests for deadline extensions after the deadline has expired would be an administrative burden for EPSO.

However, following meetings between Ombudsman and EPSO staff, EPSO finally accepted the recommendations of the Ombudsman in principle. As regards the specific case of the complainant, however, the Ombudsman noted that the competition in question had ended. She also noted that the complainant had chosen not to comment on the response of EPSO to her recommendations. In view of this, the Ombudsman considered that there were no grounds for further inquiries into whether the complainant’s case met the requirements of force majeure that EPSO now, in principle, agrees to apply.

Decision in case 1874/2013/MG on alleged irregularities in a European Commission tendering procedure

Lunes | 29 agosto 2016

The complainant is an IT company which participated in a Commission tender. The Commission asked all tenderers to complete two case studies to allow it to evaluate their technical abilities.

The complainant took issue with the fact that one of the case studies was very similar to a tender recently organised by an EU agency. It alleged that this gave the companies which had won that tender a competitive advantage in the Commission tender. The complainant also took issue with the Commission's decision not to disclose the names of the persons who evaluated the proposals for the Commission.

Following her inquiry, the Ombudsman concluded that the Commission's design of the tender procedure did not confer a competitive advantage on the winning tenderer. As regards the disclosure of the names of the evaluators, the Ombudsman suggests that the Commission consider releasing such names in the future.

Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 1083/2015/ANA concerning Eurojust's reimbursement of travel expenses to candidates invited to an interview

Martes | 12 julio 2016

The case concerned Eurojust's policy for the reimbursement of travel expenses of candidates invited to an interview.

The complainant turned to the Ombudsman alleging that Eurojust's reimbursement policy was unfair and discriminatory towards candidates residing outside the EU. In support of his allegation, the complainant noted there was a ceiling of 500 EUR for candidates residing outside the EU whilst, in some cases, a higher ceiling applied for travel from within the EU.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that, by increasing the reimbursement for candidates residing outside the EU to the highest ceiling applicable to candidates travelling inside the EU, Eurojust has taken appropriate action to settle the case.