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Ombudsman asks Commission for details on business trips by senior officials

The Ombudsman has asked the Commission how it deals with requests for business trips by its senior staff members that are paid for by third parties.

The Ombudsman decided to ask for these details following news that some business trips between 2015 and 2021 by the Director-General of the Commission’s transport department had been paid for by the Qatari government or organisations close to it.

The letter asks the Commission how it plans to update its rules related to business trips, and to detail travel costs that have been paid by third parties since 2021. Looking at the wider issue of enforcing rules related to lobbying transparency, the Ombudsman asked the Commission how it ensures that its Directors-General make public information on all meetings they have with interest representatives.

The Ombudsman also made reference to the ongoing corruption scandal involving current and former MEPs and non-EU countries. She noted that, in addition to her recent letter to the European Parliament, her office would be following up further on the matter with the EP.