External consultants spending

The request was successful.

Dear Environment (ENV),

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:

Please provide details of the department's spending on external
consultants for each of the last five financial years (2009-2013).

Please also provide a breakdown by year of which firms this money
was spent with.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Harris
60 Chemin des Mouilles
69131 Écully

Dear M. Harris, there is no existing document in DG ENV with the
information you required (consultants for each of the last five financial
years (2009-2013)). However, the list of recipients of funds from the EU
Budget is public and you will find it through this link :
[1]Financial Transparency System (FTS) - European Commission
In this portal you could find all recipients since 2007 and you can do all
kind of research that you consider useful even beyond your current
François Casana
Head of Finance Unit
Shared Resources Directorate
DG Environment/DG Climate Action
BU 9 00/006
Tél: + 32 2 295 19 78
E-mail : [email address]


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1. http://ec.europa.eu/budget/fts/index_en....

Dear Environment (ENV),

Thanks for your prompt reply.

I have asked many other EC departments for the same data, and many of them have replied.

I therefore don't find it credible that you do not have the data.

There might not be an 'existing document' with this information, but that is not to say the details do not exist.

If you reply and tell me you have not spent anything on external consultancy in the last five years, then that is another matter entirely.

Can you let me know whether you're willing to dig this information out? If not, I'd like my request to be forwarded for an internal review.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Harris

I have given you a link where you can find all the information you required and even more with all details so your statement is totally irrelevant.

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Dear Environment (ENV),

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Environment (ENV)'s handling of my FOI request 'External consultants spending'.

The request is not complex, indeed many other EC departments have provided me with the information.

However Environment directed me to the EC's FTS system.

I have tried this but it is far too general and does not provide an obvious method for searching for the department's spending on external consultancy.

Please therefore review the initial decision to direct me to FTS, rather than provide the information requested.

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

Yours faithfully,

Chris Harris

1 Attachment

Dear M; Harris, may I explain the situation to you. There is no field
related to "external consulting" in our database. What you could get is
the kind of enclosed table (which is used to feed the site to which I sent
you the link) which is the list of all contracts signed by DG ENV for a
given year (2009 in this case). However this table is misleading as there
is not only contracts for external consulting but for example you will
find a contract with Carlsson Wagon lits which is clearly a contract for
pre paid tickets for travelling or a contract with the Republic of
Ostereich which is certainly not an external consulting contract. But I
will be happy to provide you this information to you if needed.
François Casana
Head of Finance Unit
Shared Resources Directorate
DG Environment/DG Climate Action
BU 9 00/006
Tél: + 32 2 295 19 78
E-mail : [email address]

Dear Environment (ENV),

Thanks for the explanation. I understand what you're saying.

My point is that I think it is possible to track this information down - by going beyond just querying a database, especially given other EC departments have managed it.

I have requested an internal review to get a second opinion.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Harris

Thank you. Perhaps, it will help if you could send me an example of what another Dg has provided to you.
Some Dgs have a local IT system (generally big spending DGs) that contains this information. This is not the case of Dg ENV. What could be envisaged is to select manually in the database the contracts that are "external consulting" according to our knowledge of the contract. The risk there will be to provide you with information which is not consistent with the one provided by other DGs.
Also, in order to be accurate, what do you mean by "external consulting" is it a study contract "external consulting"? Is an informatics provider of service considered as "external consultant"? Or are you looking only for people giving advice to the European Commission?
This could help us too. This is why the reference to the transparency system site was at first glance a good possibility as it will allow you to do your own specific queries. However understanding better your request I do not think it will go down to the level of detail you are looking for.
Yours faithfully.
F. Casana

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Dear Environment (ENV),

Here is an example of a positive reply: http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/exter...

By external consulting I mean all the occassions when your directorate has had to go to an external company to pay for a service it cannot provide itself in-house.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Harris

1 Attachment

Dear Sir,


Thank you for your e-mail dated 12/12/2014.  We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents, which was registered on
23/12/2014 under reference number GestDem 2014/6188.


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 will expire on
23/01/2015. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.


You have lodged your application via the AsktheEU.org website. Please note
that this is a private website which has no link with any institution of
the European Union. Therefore the European Commission cannot be held
accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to the use of this


Yours faithfully,


DG Environment Access to Documents Team

European Commission
Directorate-General for Environment
Unit D.4 – Governance, Information & Reporting

BU-9 02/009
B-1160 Brussels/Belgium



Dear Mr Harris,

Thank you for your email of 16 December 2014, in which you lodged a confirmatory application for access to documents - ref. GESTDEM 2014/6188.

In the meantime, we have been informed by DG Environment that the initial request has been registered on 23 December 2014 and that a reply will be sent to you by 23 January 2015.

In view of this, we would like to inform you that the Secretariat General will not register your confirmatory application at this stage.

However, upon receipt of the initial reply, if you wish to submit a confirmatory request in accordance with Article 7 of the Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, you remain free to do so.

Best regards,

European Commission
Secretariat General
Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

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3 Attachments

Dear Chris Harris,

Subject: Your application for access to documents – Ref GestDem No
2014/4032; 2014/6188; 2014/6142; 2014/6129; 2014/6091; 2014/6072;
2014/6064; 2014/6063; 2014/6051; 2014/6043; 2014/6042; 2014/6021;
2014/6018; 2014/6017; 2014/6012; 2014/6011; 2014/6010; 2014/6008;
2014/6006; 2014/5994; 2014/5988 and 2014/3714.

We refer to your e-mails dated from 11/12/2014 to 19/12/2014 in which you
make requests for access to documents under the above-mentioned reference

We have identified the following document as falling under the scope of
your request:

o Title: Total external consultancy expenditure per DG 2009 -2011

Author: Nandor Vass

Date: 12/06/2013

o Title: Total external consultancy expenditure per DG 2012 -2013

Author: Nandor Vass

Date: 25/03/2014

Please find enclosed a copy of the documents requested.

It includes an indication of the topics of the items, the names of the
providers, the country where the providers have their seats, as well as
the date when the budget appropriations were committed by the authorising
officers (where available).

For the sake of coherence, consultancy was defined as "services provided
by external firms with a primary purpose of giving expert advice". Cost
items such as those related to outsourcing of operational activities and
IT development were not included in the list.

The data on which the compilation is based were encoded in a decentralised
manner by the individual DGs.

Also, we are aware that you have already received some individual
responses from some DGs. However this response is intended as a general,
consistent one on behalf of all DGs, so as to present the data in a
unified manner and to make it easier to navigate for you.

Yours sincerely,

Hegay Pierre
European Commission
Directorate-General for Budget
Information and Communication

Avenue d´Auderghem, 19
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium



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