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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)

Lunes | 11 octubre 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.

Decision in case 964/2020/JN on how the European Commission evaluated a tender in a public procurement procedure for the translation of a report on the judicial reform in Cyprus

Martes | 11 mayo 2021

The case concerned the European Commission´s decision to reject a tender in a public procurement procedure for the translation of a report on the judicial reform in Cyprus. The complainant considered that the Commission had been wrong in rejecting his tender because it considered he did not meet the specifications for the required experience. In the complainant’s view, the Commission should have asked him for clarifications.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission acted reasonably, and closed the inquiry finding no maladministration. She trusts that, going forward, the Commission will ensure that unsuccessful tenderers receive an adequate explanation of the reasons why their tender has been rejected, without having to ask for clarification.

Decisión en el asunto 1035/2019/PB sobre presunta mala administración por parte de la Agencia Ejecutiva Europea de Educación y Cultura en una auditoría de proyecto

Martes | 04 mayo 2021

El asunto se refería a las presuntas irregularidades cometidas por la EACEA en el manejo de ciertas cuestiones relacionadas con una auditoría de proyecto. En particular, el reclamante alegó que la EACEA tomó represalias contra un socio del proyecto que, en otro contexto, había presentado una reclamación ante la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo. El reclamante también alegó falta de transparencia y desigualdad de trato.

La Defensora del Pueblo consideró que la EACEA podría haber facilitado información adicional y mejores explicaciones al reclamante, y realizó la correspondiente solicitud a la que la EACEA respondió de forma adecuada.

En cuanto a las supuestas represalias, la Defensora del Pueblo señaló que las represalias de una institución de la Unión contra una persona por haber presentado una reclamación ante la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo constituyen un supuesto de mala administración de especial gravedad. Por ello, una alegación de ese tipo requiere la presentación de pruebas concretas y convincentes. En el presente asunto, no se aportaron tales pruebas.

La Defensora del Pueblo también consideró que la alegación de desigualdad de trato no se sostiene.

En consecuencia, la Defensora del Pueblo archivó el asunto.