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No maladministration in case about European Parliament selection procedure

Jueves | 10 marzo 2016

The case concerned the complainant's exclusion by the European Parliament from a selection procedure for research administrators.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and inspected the file held by Parliament.

On the basis of the information obtained during the inspection, the Ombudsman did not find maladministration by Parliament.

Decision in case 1409/2014/MHZ on the European Commission's failure to carry out a prior human rights impact assessment of the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement

Viernes | 26 febrero 2016

The case concerns whether the European Commission should have carried out a human rights impact assessment in the context of its negotiations to conclude a free trade agreement with Vietnam. The complainants believed that such an assessment was necessary, whereas the Commission’s position was that it was not necessary since a sustainability impact assessment had already been carried out in 2009 on a proposed EU/ASEAN free trade agreement, which included Vietnam.

The Ombudsman's conclusion was that the Commission's failure to carry out a specific human rights impact assessment, in relation to Vietnam, constituted maladministration. In March 2015 she recommended that the Commission should carry out such an assessment without further delay.

The Commission refused. It argued that its "non-trade policy instruments" and the human rights clauses in the partnership and cooperation agreement achieved that same purpose.

The Ombudsman did not agree and in doing so underlined the features inherent in the human rights impact assessment tool. As the Agreement has been concluded in the meantime, the Ombudsman closed the case with a critical remark.

Decision in case 1134/2015/TN on the European Commission's decision to declare ineligible certain costs incurred by a partner to an EU funded project

Jueves | 11 febrero 2016

The case concerned the Commission's decision to declare ineligible certain costs declared by a partner to an EU funded project. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the Commission's grounds for not accepting the costs in question were reasonable. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 1977/2013/MDC on the European Commission’s assessment of an infringement complaint concerning restrictions to freedom of movement within the EU internal market

Viernes | 25 septiembre 2015

The complainant in this case, a Luxembourgish citizen, was excluded from competing for a post in France on the grounds that she is not a French national. The post in question was that of a non-presiding judge who was to represent the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at the French asylum Court. The complainant put it to the European Commission that the limiting of the post to French nationals appeared to be a breach of the provisions of EU law on the free movement of workers. When the Commission took the view that there was no infringement of EU law, the complainant contacted the Ombudsman.

The Commission took the view that an exception to the right of free movement of workers applied. This exception applies in the case of employment in the public service and is provided for in Article 45(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Commission acknowledged that a decision in this issue required a concrete assessment of the nature of the tasks and responsibilities of the non-presiding judge and it argued that it had made such an assessment. The Ombudsman noted that, as part of this assessment, the Commission had not contacted the French authorities in order to obtain further information about the post in question. The Ombudsman's initial proposal, therefore, was that the Commission should review its assessment of the infringement complaint and she suggested that the Commission should consult the French authorities. In replying to this proposal, the Commission maintained that it had sufficient information available to it when deciding the issue and that it was therefore unnecessary to contact the French authorities. Having considered its detailed reply to the proposal, the Ombudsman accepted that in this case the Commission did have sufficient information on which to base its decision. She therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration on the part of the Commission.

Decisión en el asunto 45/2015/PMC - Las acciones de la Oficina Europea contra el Fraude en relación con un informe sobre la denuncia de prácticas corruptas

Martes | 11 agosto 2015

El caso se refería a las acciones emprendidas por la OLAF a raíz de la recepción de un informe sobre la denuncia de prácticas corruptas en el que se relacionaba a la Agencia Europea de Seguridad Aérea (AESA) con la supuesta manipulación de un informe de inspección de seguridad aérea. Tras una evaluación preliminar, la Defensora del Pueblo se interesó por lo que parecía tratarse de una decisión de la OLAF de ignorar el caso y devolverlo a la AESA, aun cuando el denunciante había elegido conscientemente presentar este informe a la OLAF en lugar de a la AESA. La Defensora del Pueblo consideró, en principio, que esta decisión podría tener un impacto negativo en la eficacia de las disposiciones relativas a la denuncia de prácticas corruptas en general, por lo que decidió investigar la cuestión.

Tras realizar una inspección de los expedientes de la OLAF, la Defensora del Pueblo constató que dicha Oficina había analizado adecuadamente la posibilidad de abrir una investigación. Comprobó asimismo que, de hecho, la OLAF no había cerrado el caso, sino que había solicitado a la AESA que examinase la cuestión e informase sobre los resultados de su investigación. Además, la OLAF se había reservado el derecho a abrir una investigación formal en una fase posterior. En este contexto, la Defensora del Pueblo constató que la OLAF había gestionado adecuadamente el informe de denuncia del demandante. La Defensora del Pueblo observó que la OLAF debería haber comunicado al demandante , de manera más explícita, que su remisión del asunto a la AESA no significaba que la OLAF no estuviese adoptando otras medidas en relación con la cuestión. La Defensora del Pueblo realizó otro comentario a este respecto.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 995/2011/KM against the European Commission

Martes | 30 junio 2015

The case concerned an infringement complaint submitted to the European Commission in relation to the alleged failure of Germany to implement properly certain provisions of the ePrivacy directive. The complainant turned to the European Ombudsman alleging that the Commission had failed to explain properly the reasons for not commencing an investigation. The Ombudsman inquired into the matter and found that the Commission subsequently provided an adequate explanation in relation to some of the issues raised by the complainant. As regards the issues in relation to which the Commission did not provide an adequate explanation, the Ombudsman closed the case with a critical remark.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 400/2014/DK against the European Commission

Lunes | 08 junio 2015

The case concerned the European Commission's alleged failure to inform the complainant about the priority status of his State aid complaint.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue. In the course of her inquiry, the Commission informed the complainant that his complaint was not treated as a priority case. However, the Commission did not explain the reasons for its decision. The Ombudsman therefore closed the complaint with a critical remark concerning the Commission's failure to inform the complainant about why it had given a low priority status to his state aid complaint.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 415/2014/FOR against the European Parliament

Lunes | 01 junio 2015

The complainant is a temporary agent with the European Parliament. She fell ill while on annual leave. The case concerned Parliament's refusal to convert the complainant's annual leave into sick leave. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found no maladministration as the complainant was required to provide a current address at the time, or soon after, she submitted her medical certificate for the sick leave. That requirement was not met.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 150/2015/DK against the European External Action Service

Jueves | 07 mayo 2015

The case concerned the evaluation of the complainant's proposal for a tender. In its complaint to the Ombudsman, the complainant argued that the evaluation board wrongly evaluated its proposal as it failed to take into account the information provided therein.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the complainant did not show that the evaluators had made a manifest error of assessment as regards the aspects complained about. She therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1136/2014/DK against the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO)

Martes | 05 mayo 2015

The case concerned EPSO's alleged failure to provide the complainant with a copy of the source text of the translation test and with the marked copies of his translation scripts in an open competition.

Given that the Civil Service Tribunal found, in a recent judgment, that selection boards do not need to give candidates the corrected version of their tests, the reasons why replies were erroneous, or the evaluation grids used for the written and oral tests, the Ombudsman opened an inquiry into the complaint in order to allow EPSO to comment on the relevance of the Tribunal's findings on its recruitment proceedings.

During her inquiry, the Ombudsman found that EPSO had already enhanced the transparency of its selection procedures by the introduction of competency and skills-based tests, and of the competency passport. Furthermore, EPSO committed to developing a new procedure by 2016 that would allow candidates who do not receive a competency passport to obtain the selection board's reasoned decision, containing the board's comments on the quality of a candidate's translations.

The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration by EPSO.