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Decision on how the European Commission dealt with a request for public access to documents concerning the negotiations for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines (case 2206/2021/MIG)

Maanantaina | 18 heinäkuuta 2022

The case concerned a request for public access to documents related to the European Commission’s negotiations with pharmaceutical companies on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. Following a previous Ombudsman inquiry, the Commission began reviewing more of the documents covered by the request and granted the complainant access to parts of those documents it had reviewed. It promised that it would continue dealing with the request in due time.

The complainant considered that the Commission had failed to comply with its promise. The Ombudsman opened an inquiry and asked the Commission to explain how it was dealing with the complainant’s request, taking into account her previous inquiry. In the course of the inquiry, the Commission issued a decision on the remaining documents to which the complainant was seeking access. It also re-assessed documents (advance purchase agreements) it had previously disclosed in part and granted wider access to them, including on its website.

Against this background, the Ombudsman found that no further inquiries were justified at this stage and closed the case, calling on the Commission to continue its efforts towards greater transparency of the vaccine negotiations.

Closing note on the strategic initiative on how EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies record text and instant messages sent/received by staff members in their professional capacity (SI/4/2021/MIG)

Keskiviikkona | 13 heinäkuuta 2022

The EU administration is increasingly using means of modern electronic communication in its daily work. This reality should be reflected in the EU administration’s document management rules and practices.

Against this background, this strategic initiative aimed at starting a discussion on adequate record-keeping rules and practices, when it comes to electronic communication such as text and instant messaging. To this end, the Ombudsman gathered information from across the EU administration. She also looked at rules and practices at national and international level.

Based on the information gathered, the Ombudsman makes practical recommendations that could guide the EU administration’s practices going forward