Evaluation of Frontex drone operations

Currently waiting for a response from European Border and Coast Guard Agency, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear European Border and Coastguard Agency,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting copies of documents relating to the use of drones by the European Border and Coastguard Agency (Frontex). I should be grateful if you would provide me with copies of the following documents:

Copies of all reports held by Frontex on the evaluation of operations conducted by Frontex using drones for border control and / or monitoring of illegal immigration.

I should be grateful if you would reply to me by email and provide copies of documents in pdf format.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information or clarification.

Thank you for your assistance and I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Burt

European Border and Coast Guard Agency

New information regarding your application is available under this link
[1]https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
Token: GSY8PN287K
Email: [FOI #8406 email]
Case Id: PAD-2020-00136

Please be informed that the link is valid for 15 working days

[2]Frontex
European Border and Coast Guard Agency
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland
Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501
[3]www.frontex.europa.eu

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex
, unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely
for the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

References

Visible links
1. https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
3. http://frontex.europa.eu/

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

Thank you for your message and for reviewing my request. I am afraid that when I attempt to access the 'Public Access to Documents' webpage using the information you have provided, entering in the email field 'FOI #8406 email', I receive an error message saying 'The Email field is not a valid e-mail address' and am unable to access the page.

This request has been sent using the 'AskTheEU' platform and there is no email address associated with the request, at least that is visible to me.

Please can you send me an email address in the appropriate format which will allow me to access the webpage, or provide the response to my request in a more conventional manner, eg non-password protected web link, or pdf attachment response to ASkTheEU.

Thank you for your assistance and I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Burt

European Border and Coast Guard Agency

New information regarding your application is available under this link
[1]https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
Token: 9UUE9VB1RM
Email: [FOI #8406 email]
Case Id: PAD-2020-00136

Please be informed that the link is valid for 15 working days

[2]Frontex
European Border and Coast Guard Agency
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland
Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501
[3]www.frontex.europa.eu

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex
, unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely
for the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

References

Visible links
1. https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
3. http://frontex.europa.eu/

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

Thank you for your message. You have sent me an identical response to your previous message which does not assist me in resolving this problem. I should be grateful if you would address the concern in my previous message to you, namely:

I am afraid that when I attempt to access the 'Public Access to Documents' webpage using the information you have provided, entering in the email field 'FOI #8406 email', I receive an error message saying 'The Email field is not a valid e-mail address' and am unable to access the page.

This request has been sent using the 'AskTheEU' platform and there is no email address associated with the request, at least that is visible to me.

Please can you send me an email address in the appropriate format which will allow me to access the webpage, or provide the response to my request in a more conventional manner, eg non-password protected web link, or pdf attachment response to ASkTheEU.

Thank you for your assistance and I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Burt

Timo Knaebe, European Border and Coast Guard Agency

Dear Mr Burt,

 

The email address for logging in is the email address referred to in your
emails to Frontex (including the present one):

 

“Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[1][FOI #8406 email]”

 

The access information sent to you thus includes the email address
“[2][FOI #8406 email]”

 

Please contact your email service provider regarding any further queries
in this regard.

 

Yours sincerely,

Transparency Office

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Timo Knaebe,

Thank you for your message responding to my further enquiry about this request for information.

I have once again tried to access your reply via your Public Access to Documents Case Token using the login details you provided and email code [FOI #8406 email]. When I try to enter this code to access the documents I receive the error message 'The email field is not a valid email address'.

The Public Access to Documents Case Token arrangement does not meet my access abilities and I would prefer to receive the requested information via the online portal 'Ask The EU' (asktheeu.org) rather than your own website. I draw your attention to the European Ombudsman's recent decision in case 104/2020/EWM, which states:

"Fulfilling requests via online portals is an effective means of complying with this obligation. Where an applicant has specifically stated that this is their preferred medium for receiving the response to their request and any documents to which public access is granted, institutions should comply with that request unless there is very good reason (which should be explained) for them not to do so. This is a matter of good administration as well as a means of complying with the legal obligation to give the widest possible public access."

I conclude that in failing to provide me with the requested information in the format I have requested via the Ask The Eu web portal Frontex is in breach of the Ombudsman's decision and Frontex's obligations as an Agency.

I would prefer to resolve this matter amicably, rather than waste the time of Frontex officials by asking for a confirmatory application (internal review) of this case and, if necessary, referring the matter to the Ombudsman. I will therefore request one final time that you provide me with a response to my request for information through my preferred medium, namely a pdf attachment response via the asktheeu.org online portal. I must warn you, however, that if you fail to do so I will commence an appeal over this matter using the confirmatory application procedure.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Burt

PAD, European Border and Coast Guard Agency

Dear Mr Burt,

Thank you for your email. Frontex always answers to the email address provided by applicants. This email address forms one of the variables to enter your case.

" FOI #8406 email" does not constitute an email address and it is not the email address provided by you in all your pieces of correspondence, including the present one, in which you stated again:

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #8406 email]

For your convenience, our reply repeated your email address "[FOI #8406 email]" as part of all the necessary access information to securely access your case.

As Frontex cannot be held accountable for malfunctions of a medium, as advised before, kindly contact your email service provider for further assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Transparency Office

show quoted sections

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications.

I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request 'Evaluation of Frontex drone operations'.

On 29 July 202 I contacted Frontex via the 'Ask The EU' web platform (asktheeu.org) to request the following information:

'Copies of all reports held by Frontex on the evaluation of operations conducted by Frontex using drones for border control and / or monitoring of illegal immigration.'

Frontex sent me a number of replies in the format of login information for the 'Public Access to Documents Case Token' web page. On each occasion I tried several times to log in to the web page but was unable to do so. Despite requests, Frontex provided me with no meaningful assistance in using the web page.

I subsequently contacted Frontex to make clear my preference to receive information in the format of pdf documents via the Ask The EU web platform, and reminded the agency of their obligations in this respect with regard to the European Ombudsman's recent decision in case 104/2020/EWM, which states:

"Fulfilling requests via online portals is an effective means of complying with this obligation. Where an applicant has specifically stated that this is their preferred medium for receiving the response to their request and any documents to which public access is granted, institutions should comply with that request unless there is very good reason (which should be explained) for them not to do so. This is a matter of good administration as well as a means of complying with the legal obligation to give the widest possible public access."

I warned the Agency that if I did not receive information in this format I would request an internal review / confirmatory application for the case.

In response, Frontex has merely restated its former position and has failed to acknowledge or respond to my request to fulfil my request via the Ask The Eu online portal. This is a clear violation of the Ombudsman's ruling and an apparent attempt to frustrate the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001. I am therefore requesting an internal review / confirmatory application for this case.

I should emphasise that I do not need or wish to receive information in secure format in response to my request, and that there is no need for Frontex to present information in secure format as the Agency has no authority to pass on classified information to me. There is thus no need to require me to receive information via the route adopted by Frontex.

I should be grateful if you would ensure that I am provided with the information specified in my original request, namely copies of all reports held by Frontex on the evaluation of operations conducted by Frontex using drones for border control and / or monitoring of illegal immigration, and that this information is provided to me via my preferred medium, namely via the website asktheeu.org in the format of pdf files.

Thank you for your assistance and I will look forward to hearing from you in due course. I reserve the right to refer this case to the European Ombudsman if I do not receive a satisfactory response to my request for an internal review.

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

Yours faithfully,

Peter Burt

European Border and Coast Guard Agency

New information regarding your application is available under this link
[1]https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
Token: B70C26CJ42
Email: [FOI #8406 email]
Case Id: PAD-2020-00142

Please be informed that the link is valid for 15 working days

[2]Frontex
European Border and Coast Guard Agency
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland
Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501
[3]www.frontex.europa.eu

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex
, unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely
for the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

References

Visible links
1. https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
3. http://frontex.europa.eu/

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

This case has now been referred to the European Ombudsman.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Burt