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Decision on how the Research Executive Agency (REA) complied with a decision by the European Commission concerning the evaluation of a project proposal under the Horizon 2020 programme (case 1521/2021/LM)

Otrdiena | 13 septembris 2022

The complainant participated in a call for proposals under the Horizon 2020 programme, which was organised by the Research Executive Agency (REA). The REA did not select the complainant’s proposal for funding but the European Commission subsequently annulled the REA’s decision and instructed the REA to re-evaluate the proposal. The REA re-evaluated the complainant’s proposal but decided not to allocate funds to it. Dissatisfied with this outcome, the complainant turned to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman found that the REA re-evaluated the proposal in line with the applicable rules and that the re-evaluation was fair. She thus closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision on how the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) dealt with a Horizon 2020 funding proposal for the Enhanced European Innovation Council Accelerator Pilot (case 2097/2021/FA)

Piektdiena | 15 jūlijs 2022

The case concerned how the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) dealt with a proposal for funding under the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot.

The complainant took issue with how EASME evaluated its proposal as well as with the lack of information received on the evaluation and possibilities for review. The complainant was also concerned with the delay by EASME in replying to his request that it review its decision.  

In the course of the inquiry, the European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA), which succeeded and replaced EASME, explained why there was a delay in the review procedure. The Ombudsman considered that the explanation was reasonable. The Ombudsman also found that EASME had provided sufficient information to the complainant on the evaluation and possibilities for review. Nevertheless, the Ombudsman found that the feedback provided by EASME to the complainant was not sufficient, and did not allow a meaningful review of the evaluation of the proposal. The Ombudsman noted that, in the context of the new EIC Accelerator programme, EISMEA appears to provide more detailed feedback to applicants on the evaluation of their proposals.

The Ombudsman thus considered that no further inquiries were justified in this case and closed the inquiry.

Lēmums par Eiropas Savienības Padomes atteikumu piešķirt pilnīgu publisku piekļuvi dokumentiem, kas saistīti ar sarunām par “Digitālo tirgu akta” projektu (Lieta 1499/2021/SF)

Pirmdiena | 27 jūnijs 2022

Sūdzības iesniedzējs, kas ir žurnālistu tīkls no vairākām Eiropas valstīm, lūdza publisku piekļuvi dalībvalstu sākotnējiem komentāriem un jautājumiem par tiesību akta priekšlikumu “Digitālo tirgu aktam”. Padome atteica pilnīgu publisku piekļuvi norādītajiem dokumentiem, apgalvojot, ka pilnīga publiskošana kaitētu notiekošajam lēmumu pieņemšanas procesam.

Ombude norādīja, ka sabiedrības informēšana par likumdošanas procedūru norisi ir juridiska prasība. Savlaicīga piekļuve leģislatīviem dokumentiem ir ļoti svarīga, lai pilsoņi varētu izmantot savas Līgumā noteiktās tiesības piedalīties ES demokrātiskajā dzīvē.

Šajā gadījumā ombuds konstatēja, ka Padome nav pietiekami pierādījusi, ka pieprasīto dokumentu publiskošana nopietni ietekmētu, paildzinātu vai sarežģītu tās lēmumu pieņemšanas procesu. Tādēļ viņa uzskatīja, ka Padomes atteikums nodrošināt publisku piekļuvi ir administratīva kļūme. Viņa ieteica Padomei piešķirt pilnīgu publisku piekļuvi pieprasītajiem leģislatīvajiem dokumentiem.

Atbildot, Padome piešķīra pilnīgu publisku piekļuvi pieprasītajiem dokumentiem. Ombude atzinīgi vērtē Padomes pozitīvo atbildi uz viņas ieteikumu. Tomēr viņa pauž nožēlu par laiku, kas Padomei vajadzīgs, lai nodrošinātu publisku piekļuvi. Viņa norāda, ka, tā kā kopš pieprasījuma iesniegšanas pagājis vairāk nekā gads, publiskotie dokumenti vairs nav izmantojami sūdzības iesniedzēja iecerētajam mērķim, proti, informēt iedzīvotājus par notiekošo likumdošanas procesu. Tādējādi ombude apstiprināja savu konstatējumu par administratīvām kļūmēm.

Ombude aicina Padomi leģislatīvos dokumentus darīt pieejamus laikā, kas ļaus sabiedrībai efektīvi piedalīties diskusijā.

 

Decision on whether a requirement in a call for tenders for architectural services organised by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) was unnecessarily restrictive (Complaint 521/2021/LM)

Trešdiena | 22 jūnijs 2022

A call for tenders for the procurement of architectural services, organised by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), included the requirement that one member of the team that would provide the service be an architect registered with a specific association in Ireland. The complainant, an Irish architectural firm, contended that such a requirement is discriminatory, as other categories of professionals, such as registered building surveyors or chartered engineers, could provide the services listed in the call for tenders.

The Ombudsman found that Eurofound had not clearly demonstrated why the requirement was justified. However, she closed the inquiry with the finding that no further inquiries were justified because Eurofound has not awarded any contract. She nonetheless made a suggestion for improvement for any future calls for tenders for the provision of architectural services that Eurofound may organise.