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Ombudsman welcomes progress on Commission’s treatment of ‘revolving doors’

Ombudsman O’Reilly has welcomed the Commission’s constructive response to her inquiry on how it handles moves by staff to the private sector.

In reply to the Ombudsman’s proposals to strengthen the implementation of the rules on ‘revolving doors’, the Commission said that for cases where there is a reputational risk for the Commission, it would ask former staff to report back on how they are complying with any restrictions, such as on lobbying former colleagues.

The Commission also said it would publish its annual overview of senior staff members requesting permission to move to new employment, and its assessment of these requests, much faster than previously. This will allow more timely public scrutiny of the Commission’s reasoning and decisions related to revolving doors.

In addition, staff on unpaid leave are now forbidden from taking employment in areas where there is a risk of conflict of interest. This more robust approach follows instances where staff on leave had taken up private sector jobs related to their area of expertise.

The Ombudsman will continue to monitor revolving doors in the EU administration, including the Commission’s commitment to examine how it can further improve compliance with any conditions it attaches to the authorisation of moves to the private sector.