Access to EU Transaction Log (carbon trading) and related databases

The authority would like to / has responded by postal mail to this request.

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

From: Paul-Olivier Dehaye
Gland, June 7th 2016

Dear Climate Action,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001 and the 'Aarhus Regulation' (see note), I am requesting the following documents:
- a copy of the full database behind the EU Transaction Log (on Carbon trading), listed at
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ets/welc... ;
- a copy of the full database behind the Union Registry;
- a copy of the full database behind the Community Independent Transaction Log (CITL), which I understand was a predecessor to the registry;
- a copy of the full database behind the Effort Sharing Decision instrument.

It could be that some of those items are actually identical, or included in each other. Clarification would be welcomed.

Regulation 1049/2001 sets out in Article 3: (a) "document" shall mean any content whatever its medium (written on paper or stored in electronic form or as a sound, visual or audiovisual recording) concerning a matter relating to the policies, activities and decisions falling within the institution's sphere of responsibility.

Furthermore, in its 2008 reform proposal for Regulation 1049/2001, the Commission explicitly said that: “data contained in electronic storage, processing and retrieval systems are documents if they can be extracted in the form of a printout or electronic-format copy using the available tools for the exploitation of the system”

It is thus clear that my request fits the definition of "document".

I ask for this data to preferably be made available in either CSV, JSON, XLS or XML formats.

Should my request be denied wholly or partially, please explain the denial or all deletions referring to specific exemptions in the regulation. Also I expect the partial release of documents, in case of partial exemption according to article 4.6.

I reserve the right to appeal.

Please confirm having received this application. I look forward to your reply within 15 business days, according to the regulation.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours faithfully,
Paul-Olivier Dehaye
Loorenrank 28
8053 Zurich
Switzerland

Note: See Regulation (EC) n. 1367/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 on the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Community Institutions and bodies (hereinafter "Aarhus Regulation")

Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Dehaye,

 

Thank you for your email dated 7^th June 2016.

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents,
which was registered on the 7^th June under reference number GestDem
2016/3140.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, your application
will be handled within 15 working days. The time limit expires on 28^th
June 2016.

In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due
course.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mathilde CREPY
Access to document team

 

[1]cid:image001.gif@01CF3250.5B02B3F0
European Commission
DG Climate Action
Unit 001 – Administrative and Legal Support, Liaison with SRD

 

 

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Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Dehaye,

I refer to your email dated 7^th June 2016 in which you requested to be
provided access to Commission documents, registered the same day under
reference GestDem 2016/3140

Your application is currently being handled. We could not be in a position
to complete the handling of your application within the time limit of 15
working days, which expired yesterday, 28^th June 2016 but we are actively
looking at your request and will answer as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit expires on 19^th July 2016.

 

We apologize for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mathilde CREPY
Access to document team

 

[1]cid:image001.gif@01CF3250.5B02B3F0
European Commission
DG Climate Action
Unit 001 – Administrative and Legal Support, Liaison with SRD

 

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Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Dehaye,
 
We refer to your email dated 7 June 2016 in which you made an access to
documents request pursuant to Regulation 1049/2001, registered under
GestDem 2016/3140.
 
Please find attached DG CLIMA's reply to your application.
Please note that you will receive this reply via registered mail with
acknowledgement of receipt.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Danielle SMITH
Legal Assistant
 
    
European Commission
Directorate-General for Climate Action
Unit 001 – Administrative and Legal Support, Liaison with SRD
 
1049 Brussels
 

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

Dear Climate Action,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Climate Action's handling of my FOI request 'Access to EU Transaction Log (carbon trading) and related databases'.

To whom it may concern,

I have previously asked for public access to the full databases behind: the EU transaction Log (EUTL), the Community Independent Transaction Log (OTL) the Union Registry, and the Effort Sharing Decision (reference: GestDem 2016/3140).

The response I received indicated that significant privacy concerns prevented such release. I do agree that there are indeed concerns with respect to privacy.
The response also indicated that a partial access to the data was already granted to the public, in the form of selected interfaces to some facets of the database, mindful of privacy concerns.
Finally the response highlighted that I did not attempt to explain any overriding public interest, and sought, but failed, to find one around the Aarhus Regulation.

I would like to put forth an argument outlining the overriding public interest in the public release of a partial dump of the database.

Carbon trading has led to extensive VAT fraud, as detailed by Danish journalist Bo Elkjaer and others. This has been evaluated by EUROPOL to cause 5 billion euros in damages to the European taxpayer:
https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/pr...

It is also, unfortunately, only one of the markets where VAT fraud takes place, and maybe the first of a new kind:
http://carboncrooks.tv/danish-film-lifts...

I hope this shows there is significant public interest in this type of fraud. Carbon trading is one market where the transactions have been made surprisingly transparent, and indeed directly available on the internet through selected interfaces. Bulk access to the data however would enable new types of analysis. In particular, I (Paul-Olivier Dehaye, professor of mathematics, University of Zurich) would be interested in applying techniques of Topological Data Analysis to this dataset. Topological Data Analysis seeks to find topological features in data, such as a loop, potentially a telltale of VAT carousel fraud. See here for an abstract explanation of what Topological Data Analysis does:
https://www.ias.edu/ideas/2013/lesnick-t...

Such analysis could already be conducted on anonymised data, just considering the network structure, but would be exceedingly difficult through the web interface currently available. Releasing this very interesting data as a standalone dataset would help attract the attention of researchers. If successful, their analysis would not only help in carbon emissions VAT fraud, but also for all kinds of other VAT fraud, even for markets that do not exist yet. I believe this is sufficient basis for justifying of an overriding interest to release the already available data (and maybe a bit more) as a standalone dataset.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/acce...

Yours faithfully,

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

Dear Mr Dehaye,

Thank you for your email dated 11 July 2016, by which you request, pursuant to Regulation No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, a review of the position taken by DG CLIMA in reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2016/3140.

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access to documents which was registered today [under reference Ares(2016)3329457].

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (3/8/2016). In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

Please be informed that the answer to your confirmatory application is a formal Commission decision that will be notified to you by express delivery. We kindly offer you the possibility to provide us a contact phone number (by email to [email address]), so that the external delivery service can contact you in case of absence.

Please note that the Commission will not use your phone number for any other purpose than for informing the delivery service, and that it will delete it immediately thereafter.

Yours faithfully,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (PS)
European Commission
Secretariat General
Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

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Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Dehaye,

 

Please find attached a note for your attention regarding your confirmatory
application GestDem 2016/3140.

 

Best regards,

 

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS (NL)

[1]cid:image002.jpg@01CFC082.A6D14DD0
European Commission
Secretariat General
B4 – Transparency

 

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Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Dehaye,

 

Please find attached a letter concerning your confirmatory application for
access to documents under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 - Gestdem
2016/3140.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

TEAM ACCESS DOCUMENTS (LN)
[1]cid:image001.gif@01D10B5D.0CD08030
European Commission
Secretariat General

Unit B4 - Transparency

 

 

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Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Dehaye,

 

Please find attached a letter concerning your confirmatory application for
access to documents under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 - Gestdem
2016/3140.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

TEAM ACCESS DOCUMENTS (LN)
[1]cid:image001.gif@01D10B5D.0CD08030
European Commission
Secretariat General

Unit B4 - Transparency

 

 

References

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Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Dehaye,

 

Please find attached an advance information copy of the confirmatory
decision taken on your request for access to documents registered under
Gestdem number 2016/3140, adopted on 26/08/2016.

 

Please note that the Secretariat General of the European Commission will
proceed with the formal notification of the decision in the coming days.

 

This advance copy is solely sent for your information and is not the
formal notification of the confirmatory decision.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (PS)

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

 

 

 

 

Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

Dear Sir,

 

Please be informed that the formal notification of the confirmatory
decision has been sent to you by express delivery.

 

Unfortunately, it seems that we do not have your correct postal address.
Could you please confirm that the confirmatory decision has to be sent to
Loorenrank, 2 – CH - 8053 ZURICH?

 

May I also ask you to provide us a contact phone number (by email to
[1][email address]), so that the external delivery service can
contact you in case of absence. Please note that the Commission will not
use your phone number for any other purpose than for informing the
delivery service, and that it will delete it immediately thereafter.

 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

 

Kind regards,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (PS)

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

 

 

 

From: SG ACCES DOCUMENTS
Sent: Friday 26 August 2016 11:27
To: 'Paul-Olivier Dehaye ([FOI #3008 email])'
Subject: Your application for access to documents pursuant to Regulation
1049-2001 - GESTDEM 2016-3140

 

Dear Mr Dehaye,

 

Please find attached an advance information copy of the confirmatory
decision taken on your request for access to documents registered under
Gestdem number 2016/3140, adopted on 26/08/2016.

 

Please note that the Secretariat General of the European Commission will
proceed with the formal notification of the decision in the coming days.

 

This advance copy is solely sent for your information and is not the
formal notification of the confirmatory decision.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (PS)

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

 

 

 

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Generaldirektion Klimapolitik

Dear Mr Dehaye,

 

May we kindly remind you that we have not received any reply regarding the
postal address for the delivery of the formal notification (see below) or
any phone number to which the delivery service might join you.

 

Please note that without this information we will not be able to deliver
the original of the confirmatory decision.

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Sincerely,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (PS)

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

 

 

 

From: SG ACCES DOCUMENTS
Sent: Tuesday 30 August 2016 16:34
To: 'Paul-Olivier Dehaye ([FOI #3008 email])'
Subject: RE: Your application for access to documents pursuant to
Regulation 1049-2001 - GESTDEM 2016-3140

 

Dear Sir,

 

Please be informed that the formal notification of the confirmatory
decision has been sent to you by express delivery.

 

Unfortunately, it seems that we do not have your correct postal address.
Could you please confirm that the confirmatory decision has to be sent to
Loorenrank, 2 – CH - 8053 ZURICH?

 

May I also ask you to provide us a contact phone number (by email to
[1][email address]), so that the external delivery service can
contact you in case of absence. Please note that the Commission will not
use your phone number for any other purpose than for informing the
delivery service, and that it will delete it immediately thereafter.

 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

 

Kind regards,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (PS)

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

 

 

 

From: SG ACCES DOCUMENTS
Sent: Friday 26 August 2016 11:27
To: 'Paul-Olivier Dehaye ([2][FOI #3008 email])'
Subject: Your application for access to documents pursuant to Regulation
1049-2001 - GESTDEM 2016-3140

 

Dear Mr Dehaye,

 

Please find attached an advance information copy of the confirmatory
decision taken on your request for access to documents registered under
Gestdem number 2016/3140, adopted on 26/08/2016.

 

Please note that the Secretariat General of the European Commission will
proceed with the formal notification of the decision in the coming days.

 

This advance copy is solely sent for your information and is not the
formal notification of the confirmatory decision.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (PS)

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

 

 

 

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[FOI #3008 email]

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

Hi
My address has changed. I now live at 14 Rue de l'Abbaye 1196 Gland. My phone number is +41764075796.
Sincerely,
Paul-Olivier Dehaye