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How the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) dealt with a request for public access to documents it disclosed following previous access to document requests

The complainant, a journalist, asked the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to grant public access to documents concerning all access to documents it had dealt with in defined time periods. Frontex informed the complainant that, due to the complexity and amount of documents covered by the request, it would not be able to deal with the request within the deadline set out in the EU's rules on public access to documents. It proposed, as a solution, to review a selection of documents from the time periods covered by his request and to deal with the documents in batches. The complainant was dissatisfied with this proposal and turned to the Ombudsman.

While the inquiry was ongoing, the complainant agreed to scale back his request and accepted Frontex's proposal, receiving the documents in two batches. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry, although she raised concern about how Frontex had dealt with the request. She also asked Frontex to report to her on its commitment to make available in its public register documents that have been released following public access requests.