Article 14.3 of European Ombudsman Code (Request addressed to Mr Nikiforos Diamandouros)

David Nicholson made this access to documents request to European Ombudsman

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, European Ombudsman should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: David Nicholson

Delivered

Dear Mr Diamandouros,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

1) European Ombudsman Code quoted by Fundamental Rights Agency in this link http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/how_m...

2)Interpretation of Article 14.3 of European Ombudsman Code and relevant information whether the WARNING issued by FRA is in line with the content and spirit of European Ombudsman Code.

All necessary details could be found in the link above and also in Overview I made under that link under section ANNOTATIONS.

3)Opinion of European Ombudsman on the several cases identified at FRA and the cost of those cases for EU public. If FRA get upset so quickly like presented in the link above (after 2 initial requests and one confirmatory application issued a WARNING that the correspondence is repetitive, abusive and/or pointless), then, in my view somebody should scrutinize in deep what happens at FRA.

I would like to thank in advance for your verification and reply.

Yours faithfully,

David Nicholson

Link to this

From: Euro-Ombudsman
European Ombudsman


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Dear Mr Nicholson,

The European Ombudsman's Office has received your request for information
dated 25 July 2013.

You asked our services to provide you with documents containing the
following information:

(1) The European Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, which was cited by
the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) in its answer to a request for access
to documents you addressed to it.

Please find below a link to the European Ombudsman's website where this
Code is published. We would be happy to provide you with a printed version
of the Code, if you so wish. In that case, we ask you to kindly inform us
of your postal address.

[1]http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/resources...

 

(2) The interpretation of Article 14.3 of the European Ombudsman's Code
and relevant information concerning the issue whether the WARNING issued
by FRA is in line with the content and spirit of European Ombudsman's
Code.

Please find hereunder a number of decisions adopted by the European
Ombudsman in which he gives his interpretation of Article 14.3 of the
Code. The full text of all the decisions mentioned below is available on
the European Ombudsman's website:

 

1825/2009/IP

The right of citizens to receive a reply to their queries submitted to
institutions, and the duty of the latter to provide a reply are, however,
not absolute. In cases where correspondence from citizens is abusive
because of its excessive number or of its repetitive or pointless
character, no reply need be sent (Article 14(3) of the European Code). In
this regard, the Ombudsman considers that this exception to the general
principle that institutions have to reply to citizens' correspondence must
be applied strictly. The citizens concerned have to be explicitly informed
of the institution's decision to discontinue correspondence with them and
of the reasons for that decision.

(Paragraph 28 of: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing his inquiry
into complaint 1825/2009/IP against the European Parliament)

0695/2011/DK

When it is obvious that the same correspondence has been sent to an
institution via different channels, it is good administrative practice to
acknowledge receipt of the correspondence which the institution first
receives. Naturally, if the subsequent correspondence is the same as the
correspondence already received, it is not necessary to send additional
acknowledgements of receipt, especially since the sender must be aware
that the correspondence sent is the same.

(Paragraph 28 of: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing his inquiry
into complaint 695/2011/DK against the European Commission)

1437/2006/(WP)BEH

The rule concerning the discontinuance of correspondence, contained in
point 4 of the Commission's Code of Conduct, is an exception to the
Commission's general duty to correspond with complainants. As an
exception, it should be narrowly construed. The Ombudsman considered that
good administrative practice requires the Commission to apply the
exception with the utmost care and to give reasons when it decides to
discontinue a correspondence.

(Paragraph 86 of: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing his inquiry
into complaint 1437/2006/(WP)BEH against the European Commission)

1437/2006/(WP)BEH

The right to discontinue correspondence with a complainant presupposes
that the latter's correspondence can "reasonably" be considered as
"improper". It is therefore not sufficient that a letter is repetitive in
the sense that it simply repeats arguments that have already been put
forward before. At the same time, the Ombudsman considers that repetitive
correspondence may indeed become improper. This, for instance, is the case
where a complainant repeatedly refuses to accept the Commission's decision
to close a case but does not submit any factual elements beyond those
already considered by the Commission.

As an exception to the Commission's general duty to correspond with
citizens, the rule on discontinuing correspondence must be narrowly
construed. Given the paramount importance of corresponding with citizens,
discontinuing correspondence must therefore be regarded as a means of last
resort. It seems useful to add that, in cases of repetitive
correspondence, the Commission can easily reply by referring to its
position explained in previous letters.

(Paragraph 105-106 of: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing his
inquiry into complaint 1437/2006/(WP)BEH against the European Commission)

0454/2006/(IP)MF

The Ombudsman is generally of the view that this would be the case, if the
Commission informed the author of correspondence it would considered to be
repetitive, that further replies would not be sent unless new elements
were provided. In such a way, the Commission would show that it does not
automatically classify the correspondence as repetitive, based for
instance on the criterion of author, but only after having looked into its
content to verify whether any new elements appear.

(Paragraph 46 of: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry
on complaint 454/2006/(IP)MF against the European Commission)

 

(3) You also requested "... access to the opinion (decisions) of the
European Ombudsman" on the two cases identified in the answer FRA gave you
in its reply of 29 June 2013. We note that FRA provided you with the web
links to those decisions. We therefore understand that you must have been
able to access the decisions of the Ombudsman. Please inform us if that
was not the case, so that we will send those decisions to you by other
means.

You also asked what were "the costs of those cases for the EU public". We
are unfortunately unable to provide you with cost estimates for dealing
with a specific complaint. I hope you will understand that our services
would have difficulty calculating such costs in relation to the staff of
the EO's Office. Moreover, such calculations would not include the overall
costs in relation to the EU Civil Service, namely the FRA administration.

We hope that you will find these replies helpful and we remain at your
disposal should you require further information.

Yours sincerely,

 
 
 

European Ombudsman
Michael Weiskorn
Registry
 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/resources...

Link to this

From: David Nicholson

Delivered

Dear Euro-Ombudsman,

Thank you very much for your reply. I finally found the code and all decisions in Euro-Ombudsman website. Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

David Nicholson

Link to this

From: David Nicholson

Delivered

Dear Mr Weiskorn,

It is quite difficult to understand from the EU Ombudsman reply of 30 July 2013 if FRA was or not entitled to issue that warning. It appears that FRA understood from your reply that it is entitled to issue warnings on the requesters, as it did in the case in question (see opinion above). I observed that new similar warnings were issued on requesters by FRA.

Having regard to this difficulty/misunderstanding emerged from your reply (both for FRA and for requesters) would be possible to provide more information if the citizens are entitled to request access to documents a second time after the initial request, if the institution did not provide complete response or information. For exemplification see these warnings
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/which...
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/tende...
In my view the first reprimand is exaggerated and gratuitous. As to my second request to FRA, penalized by FRA with that reprimand, I referred to cases which are not listed in website of EU Ombudsman or EDPS or court.
Thank you very much for any additional clarification you can provide, (in order to avoid such situations in the future - to request twice some documents or information from FRA when its response is not satisfactory.)

Yours sincerely,

David Nicholson

Link to this

From: David Nicholson

Delivered

Dear Euro-Ombudsman, Dear Mr Weiskorn,

This is a kind reminder for my request of 4 sep. 2013.

Yours sincerely,

David Nicholson

Link to this

From: Euro-Ombudsman
European Ombudsman


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Dear Mr Nicholson,
 
Thank you for your most recent e-mail in which you remind us of your
request of 4 September 2013, sent through the website
[1]www.asktheeu.org.  I would first like to inform you that we have no
trace of that request in our e-mail or record keeping systems. We are
currently looking into the possibilities of enhancing the reliability of
our communication with the said website.
 
With regard to the substance of your request of 4 September 2013, it
appears, in summary, that you are asking for legal advice about the rules
that apply to Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents of
the EU institutions, agencies and other bodies. More specifically, you
appear to wish to know whether it is possible to ask for public access to
a document more than once.
 
Please note that the European Ombudsman's examination of specific legal
issues, related to concrete cases, in principle only takes place within
the framework of her inquiries. The European Ombudsman does not provide
legal advice as such.
 
However, we do, of course, provide information on sources of relevant
rules. In relation to your latest request, I would advise you to have a
look at, first, the guide published on the [2]www.asktheeu.org website
([3]http://www.asktheeu.org/en/help/requesti..., which refers to, among
others, Regulation 1049/2001 that you will find here in PDF format:
[4]http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site...
Articles 7 and 8 of the Regulation lay down basic aspects of the
procedure. You may find that their content provide the answer to your
above-mentioned query.
 
Kind regards,
 
Peter Bonnor
 
 

European Ombudsman
Peter Bonnor
Head of Registry
T. +33 (0)3 88 17 25 41
 
1 avenue du Président Robert Schuman
CS 30403
F - 67001 Strasbourg Cedex
T. + 33 (0)3 88 17 23 13
F. + 33 (0)3 88 17 90 62
[5]www.ombudsman.europa.eu
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.asktheeu.org/
2. http://www.asktheeu.org/
3. http://www.asktheeu.org/en/help/requesting
4. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site...
5. European Ombudsman Home Page
http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/

Link to this

From: David Nicholson

Delivered

Dear Euro-Ombudsman,

Thank you for your response. I did not ask a legal advice; I just wanted clarification on submissions of 30July2013 by Mr Weiskorn, whose email was unclear for me. Would it be possible to receive these clarification? Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

David Nicholson

Link to this

From: David Nicholson

Delivered

Dear Euro-Ombudsman,

As the previous European Ombudsman ceased his mandate, I would like to refer my Request to the New European Ombudsman.

Yours sincerely,

David Nicholson

Link to this

From: Euro-Ombudsman
European Ombudsman


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Attachment Re reply to access to information request Article 14.3 of European Ombudsman Code Request addressed to Mr Nikiforos Diamandouros Rodeo Ref OUT2013 002041 Rodeo Ref OUT2013 002403 Rodeo Ref OUT2013 002501.html
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Dear Mr Nicholson,
 
Thank you for your message from last night. I am asking myself if you
received the message I sent you yesterday (attached), and if our e-mails
crossed?  I also do not see my e-mail message on the [1]www.asktheeu.org
website.
 
I note that, in your name, we have the following two asktheeu.org
reference e-mails in our record keeping system, and I am asking myself if
this is a source of confusion:
 
[2][email address]
 
[3][FOI #711 email]
 
On a more general note, your requests do not appear to concern public
access to documents as such. You may, therefore, wish to consider writing
directly to our central mailbox to continue the correspondence:
[4][European Ombudsman request email]  It goes without saying that your correspondence
would continue to be formally recorded, and that you would entirely free
to publish that correspondence online.
 
Thank you for your understanding.
 
Kind regards,
 
Peter Bonnor
 
 

European Ombudsman
Peter Bonnor
Head of Registry
T. +33 (0)3 88 17 25 41
[5][email address]
1 avenue du Président Robert Schuman
CS 30403
F - 67001 Strasbourg Cedex
T. + 33 (0)3 88 17 23 13
F. + 33 (0)3 88 17 90 62
[6]www.ombudsman.europa.eu
 
 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.asktheeu.org/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[FOI #711 email]
4. mailto:[European Ombudsman request email]
5. European Ombudsman Home Page
mailto:[email address]
6. European Ombudsman Home Page
http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/

Link to this

From: Euro-Ombudsman
European Ombudsman


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Dear Mr Nicholson,
 
I apologise for not having promptly replied to your recent e-mail of 24
October 2013.  I am also sorry to have to tell you that we find ourselves
being slightly confused as to the precise content of your request. We seem
to have a mix of, and overlap between, factual questions and requests for
advice.
 
Again, I am sorry, but the best way of proceeding would be if you could
send us a numbered list of very specific questions. We will then be able
to decide to which extent we are able to provide you with
appropriate replies to each question.
 
Kind regards,
 
Peter Bonnor
 
 

European Ombudsman
Peter Bonnor
Head of Registry
T. +33 (0)3 88 17 25 41
[1][email address]
1 avenue du Président Robert Schuman
CS 30403
F - 67001 Strasbourg Cedex
T. + 33 (0)3 88 17 23 13
F. + 33 (0)3 88 17 90 62
[2]www.ombudsman.europa.eu
 
 

 

 

 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. European Ombudsman Home Page
mailto:[email address]
2. European Ombudsman Home Page
http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/

Link to this

From: Euro-Ombudsman
European Ombudsman


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Dear Mr Nicholson,

 

Please accept our apologies for this late response to your renewed request
for information.

 

In order to allow us to properly respond to your request, please provide
the clarifications that we asked for in our message of 7 November 2013,
see

[1]http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/artic...

 

Thank you.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

[2]Logo European Ombudsman
Peter Bonnor
Head of Registry
T. +33 (0)3 88 17 25 41
[3][email address]
1 avenue du Président Robert Schuman
CS 30403
F - 67001 Strasbourg Cedex
T. + 33 (0)3 88 17 23 13
F. + 33 (0)3 88 17 90 62
[4]www.ombudsman.europa.eu
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/artic...
3. European Ombudsman Home Page
mailto:[email address]
4. European Ombudsman Home Page
http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/

Link to this

From: David Nicholson

Delivered

Dear Mr Bonor,

Thank you for your response and request for clarification. As I can see under the website, the related emails indeed crossed. At that time there were technical problems in AsktheEU website. I understand the legal restrictions mentioned in your email. In that respect I will use the recommendations kindly provided and will make a separate request to access information. I would appreciate if my request to access documents (posted separately) could be treated as such: as a separate Request under Regulation 1049/2001 not linked to the present one. .

Yours sincerely,

David Nicholson

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
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