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Decision on how the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) carried out two staff selection procedures in the field of cybersecurity (cases 1159/2021/VB and 1224/2021/VB)

Il-Ġimgħa | 16 Diċembru 2022

The case concerned the way in which the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) carried out two selection procedures to recruit experts in the field of cybersecurity who would fit one or more of three profiles. The complainant took part in both procedures and raised concerns about the scoring methodology applied by ENISA and the inconsistency of the scores he received in one procedure.

In the course of the inquiry, the Ombudsman inquiry team noted that the scoring methodology used in both procedures put candidates applying for one or two profiles only at a disadvantage in comparison to those who applied for all three profiles. This was not clear in the vacancy notices. It also requested explanations to ENISA on the inconsistencies in the complainant’s scores.

ENISA acknowledged the inconsistencies in the scores received by the complainant and offered to invite him to the next stage of both selection procedures.

The Ombudsman found that, as ENISA has taken appropriate steps to remedy the issues raised by the complainant, no further inquiries are justified in this case and closed the inquiry.

Decision on how the European Parliament assessed the qualifications and the professional experience of a candidate in a selection procedure for intercultural and language professionals (case 2133/2021/KT)

Il-Ħamis | 15 Diċembru 2022

The case concerned a selection procedure organised by the European Parliament to recruit ‘intercultural and language professionals’. The complainant considered that the score he received in the ‘talent evaluator’ stage of the procedure, which aimed to evaluate candidates’ qualifications and professional experience, did not represent an accurate assessment of his relevant professional experience and his studies in the field.

The Ombudsman found no manifest error in how the selection board assessed the complainant’s talent evaluator and closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration. She identified some elements for Parliament to consider in future procedures and drew Parliament’s attention to them.

Decision on how the European Parliament communicated with an applicant for a traineeship (case 1266/2022/LM)

Il-Ħamis | 15 Diċembru 2022

The case concerned how the European Parliament communicated with an individual regarding his application for a traineeship. The complainant contended that he was shortlisted, interviewed and then rejected before the period for shortlisting candidates had formally started. He argued that this was in breach of the selection procedure rules.

The Ombudsman found that the Parliament had initially miscommunicated with the complainant, but that it promptly remedied this. The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration but encouraged the Parliament to improve the information provided on the dedicated webpage for the traineeship in question, notably about the possibility to interview candidates.

Decision on how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) carried out a situational competency based interview in a staff selection procedure (case 299/2022/EIS)

It-Tlieta | 13 Diċembru 2022

The case concerned how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) conducted a ‘situational competency based’ interview in the context of a procedure for the recruitment of EU civil servants (‘administrators’). The complainant considered that he had not reached the minimum score required to be shortlisted because the interviewer rejected a clarifying question he had posed at the beginning of the interview. He was dissatisfied with how EPSO addressed his concerns.

The Ombudsman considered adequate the clarifications provided by EPSO on how the complainant’s interview was conducted. There was nothing to suggest a manifest error in how EPSO had carried out and assessed the interview. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration. However, she made a suggestion for improvement to EPSO for future similar selection procedures, namely that it communicate more clearly to candidates the types of questions allowed or not allowed during the interviews.

Decision on the decision by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT) to reject a bid in a call for tenders for editing services (case 2109/2021/LM)

Il-Ġimgħa | 09 Diċembru 2022

The case concerned a procurement procedure for “light post editing services” organised by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT) and divided in different lots.

The complainant submitted a tender for one of the lots but the CdT rejected her offer, as it claimed that the complainant had not submitted documentary evidence for her professional experience. However, the complainant claimed that, according to the call for tenders, tenderers who had submitted tenders in previous procedures were not required to resubmit documentary evidence.

The Ombudsman found that the CdT provided contradictory information to tenderers as to whether they should resubmit supporting documents already provided in another procurement procedure. She therefore proposed as a solution that the CdT not renew the current framework contract for the specific lot at issue and, instead, carry out a new procurement procedure, providing greater clarity as to what documents tenderers are expected to submit.

The CdT informed the Ombudsman that it did not renew the framework contracts for that lot. The CdT added that it has revised the wording of the documentation used in procurement procedures to provide greater clarity for tenderers. The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with a finding that the solution proposal had been accepted.

Decision on how the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) dealt with a complaint about alleged irregularities in two selection procedures for contract staff (RCT-2017-00048 and Frontex/17/CA/FGIII/26.1) (case 174/2021/KT)

L-Erbgħa | 30 Novembru 2022

The complainant took part in two selection procedures for contract staff, organised by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in 2018 and 2019. He was dissatisfied with how Frontex dealt with his administrative complaint about the evaluation of his application in the 2018 selection procedure, in which he was unsuccessful. He also complained that Frontex had failed to reply to his request for feedback regarding the 2019 selection procedure.

In the course of the inquiry, Frontex provided the complainant with feedback regarding the 2019 selection procedure. As regards the 2018 selection procedure, the Ombudsman found nothing to suggest a manifest error in how Frontex had assessed the complainant’s application. However, the Ombudsman considered that Frontex had not dealt with the complainant’s administrative complaint in an entirely satisfactory manner.

Given that the inquiry revealed no manifest error of assessment, the Ombudsman considered that no additional inquiries would be justified into that aspect of the complaint. The Ombudsman suggested, however, that Frontex improve how it communicates to applicants the redress possibilities in the context of its staff selection procedures, as well as how it processes and keeps records of complaints by unsuccessful applicants.

Deċiżjoni dwar kif il-Kummissjoni Ewropea vvalutat l-impatt fuq id-drittijiet tal-bniedem qabel ma pprovdiet appoġġ lill-pajjiżi Afrikani biex jiżviluppaw kapaċitajiet ta’ sorveljanza (każ 1904/2021/MHZ)

It-Tnejn | 28 Novembru 2022

L-ilmentaturi, grupp ta’ organizzazzjonijiet tas-soċjetà ċivili, kienu mħassba li l-Kummissjoni Ewropea ma vvalutatx ir-riskji għad-drittijiet tal-bniedem qabel ma pprovdiet appoġġ lill-pajjiżi Afrikani biex jiżviluppaw kapaċitajiet ta’ sorveljanza, speċjalment fil-kuntest tal-Fond Fiduċjarju ta’ Emerġenza għall-Afrika (EUTFA). L-ilmentaturi talbu li, qabel ma jaqblu li jappoġġjaw proġetti b’implikazzjonijiet ta’ sorveljanza potenzjali, bħal bażijiet ta’ data bijometriċi jew teknoloġiji ta’ monitoraġġ bil-mowbajls, il-Kummissjoni kellha twettaq valutazzjonijiet tar-riskju u tal-impatt minn qabel biex tiżgura li l-proġetti ma jirriżultawx fi ksur tad-drittijiet tal-bniedem (bħad-dritt għall-privatezza).

Abbażi tal-inkjesta, l-Ombudsman ikkonkludiet li l-miżuri fis-seħħ ma kinux suffiċjenti biex jiżguraw li l-impatt fuq id-drittijiet tal-bniedem tal-proġetti tal-EUFTA ġie vvalutat kif xieraq. Biex tindirizza n-nuqqasijiet li identifikat, l-Ombudsman għamlet suġġeriment għal titjib biex jiġi żgurat li, għal proġetti futuri tal-Fond Fiduċjarju tal-UE, ikun hemm valutazzjoni xierqa tal-impatt fuq id-drittijiet tal-bniedem minn qabel.