Nik Völker, MiningWatch Portugal

Dear DG 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:

- Contract or Grant Agreement for the development of "Guidelines for Best Risk Management Approaches in the Extractive Sector", signed with Eco-Efficiency Consulting and Engineering Ltd (lead contractor), and subcontractors Mr. W. Eberhard Falck "WEFalck", Satarla Ltd, Ingenieria y Consultoría en Recursos del Subsuelo S.L. "CRS Ingenería", Geologia e Geotecnia - Consultores Lda., Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Pöyry Finland Oy or ÅF Pöyry AB, Total Business Land Srl., and Mr. Ivan Andreev, as well as any existing addenda, annexes , or subcontracts
- documents that hold information on the projects' relevant administrative committees (e.g. Advisory Board, Steering Group), as long as they are not documented in the aforementioned contractual document or Grant Agreement

Concerning the potentially applicable Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, I am not interested in personal data. Passages of the requested information that are falling under the exception fixed therein may thus be redacted.

Yours faithfully,

Nik Völker, MiningWatch Portugal

ENV-ACCESS-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Medio Ambiente

Dear Sir
Thank you for your request for access to documents.
Unfortunately, you have not indicated your postal address. This is necessary for registering and handling your request in line with the procedural requirements.
Please send us your full postal address at your earliest convenience. Pending your reply, we reserve the right to refuse the registration of your request.
Alternatively, you may use directly the electronic form available on the Europa website:
http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/....

Best regards,

Access to Documents Team

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Nik Völker, MiningWatch Portugal

Dear [email address],

Thanks for getting back.

Please note that I have sent the address in a separate email communication. Anything else I can help with to clarify this request, please do not hesitate to get in touch via this platform or by email.

Thanks and best regards,

Nik Völker

Yours sincerely,

Nik Völker, MiningWatch Portugal

ROLLO Michelle, Medio Ambiente

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

[4]Ares(2021)1588228 - A/R - GESTDEM 2021/1157 - Access to documents
request - Contract Guidelines for Best Risk Management Approaches in the
Extractive Sector

Sent by ROLLO Michelle (ENV) <[email address]>. All responses
have to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ROLLO Michelle (ENV) <[email address]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

 

Dear Sir

 

Thank you for your request sent 26 February 2021  via AsktheEU.org
website. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to
documents, which was registered on 1 March 2021 under reference number
GESTDEM 2021/1157.

 

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 22
March 2021. In case this time-limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.

 

For information on how we process your personal data visit our page
[5]Privacy statement – access to documents.

 

Yours faithfully

 

DG ENVIRONMENT  - Access to Documents Team

 

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WIMMER Christian, Medio Ambiente

1 Adjuntos

Dear Mr Völker,

 

We refer to your e-mail of 26 February 2021 in which you make a request
for access to documents, registered on 02 March 2021 under the
above-mentioned reference number.

 

Your application concerns the contract for the development of "Guidelines
for Best Risk Management Approaches in the Extractive Sector", signed with
Eco-Efficiency Consulting and Engineering Ltd (lead contractor) and
several subcontractors. This contract consists of 2 sections with  general
and specific conditions of service contracts and 4 annexes. These annexes
include the tender specifications, the contractor's tender, declaration of
pre-existing rights and statements by the holder of pre-existing rights.

 

The contractor's tender and the declarations of pre-existing rights and
the statement of the holder of these right contain sensitive information
and personal data. Therefore, it is not possible to disclose these
documents. This decision is based on the exception provided in Article
4(2) of the regulation 1049/2001, ie 2. protection of commercial interests
of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property. In
addition, there is personal data involved such as the cvs of the staff
working on the project.

 

Based on our assessment, the following documents fall within the scope of
your application:

- the templates of specific and general conditions of the service contract

- the tender specifications

 

In addition, your application concerns documents on the projects' relevant
administrative committees that are not documented in the contract.

The following documents fall within the scope of this part of your
application:

- terms of references of the informal commission expert group on risk
management in the extractive sector (TAG-RM)

- call for expressions of interest for this expert group

- websites with other information on the project and the expert group

 

Based on the above-mentioned provision, we would kindly ask you whether
you could narrow down the scope of your application to documents that fall
within the above described scope, so as to reduce it to a more manageable
amount of documents.

 

In order to enable us to respect the time-limits of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001, we would ask you for a swift reply to our invitation to propose
a fair solution, within five working days at the latest:

•             by e-mail to: [email address];

 

If you have any questions concerning the invitation, you can contact us:

•             by e-mail at: [email address]; or

•             by telephone at: (+32) (0) 22 99 97 87.

 

In the absence of a reply within five working days, we will unilaterally
restrict the scope of your application to those parts that can be dealt
with within the extended deadline of 30 working days, counting from the
registration of your application 02 March 2021.

 

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

CHRISTIAN WIMMER
Senior Expert
 
[1]cid:image001.png@01D715CE.366CDF70
European Commission
Directorate-General for Environment
Waste Management & Secondary Materials

BU-9 05/201
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
+32 2 29-99787

[2][email address]

 

[3]http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/mi...

 

[4]https://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/m...

[5]http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integrat...

 

 

 

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Nik Völker, MiningWatch Portugal

Dear Mr Wimmer,

Thanks for getting in touch and for clarifying DG ENVs position.

In terms of the first part of the request, I can confirm that the identified contractual documents, i.e. "contract consists of 2 sections with general and specific conditions of service contracts and 4 annexes", correctly describe the information covered by the request filed 26-02-2021.

As already stated in the original request on 26-02-2021, I do not wish to contest the refusal to disclose personal data and would thus ask you for a proper redaction of the information that may fall under the exception per Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation 1049/2001.

Considering the sensitive information falling under the "protection of commercial interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property", I would like to ask DG ENV to further substantiate the currently insufficiently justified conclusion that "it is not possible to disclose these documents". ​As DG ENV is probably aware, the exception in Article 4(2) of Regulation 1049/2001 does not provide for a definite non-disclosure. Quite the contrary, Regulation 1049/2001 and authoritative precedents before the ECJ have frequently confirmed an overriding public interest in disclosure, especially when environmental information, information on health or safety, or information relevant for legislative processes may be covered by the request.

I do not contest that there may be commercially sensitive information present in the requested contractual documents. However, the mere assertion by DG ENV or the third partie(s) consulted that disclosure would harm their commercial interests should not suffice to require withholding of the information. Please take into consideration that the requested grant information and work executed under the agreements are not directly intended to support business operations or commercial interests as such, but to provide the Commission and thus the European society with neutral and well-founded Guidelines for Best Risk Management Approaches in the Extractive Sector.

Thus, the agency must weigh all of the considerations in reaching its decision on (partial) non-disclosure. Although some categories of proprietary commercial information should usually be kept confidential, taxpaying citizens and businesses generally should be entitled to obtain information about public contracts and funding agreements. In consistency with the abobe mentioned ECJ rulings, laws of several countries provide, or have been interpreted to provide, that the protection of public health, safety, and the environment may outweigh business interests in confidentiality. Even the potential for some private harm from disclosure of confidential business information should yield to the broader interests of the public in gaining access where that public interest can be shown to outweigh the asserted private harm. Often the argument against disclosure turns on a fear that public access to the information could cause embarrassment to the business implicated. But this is not a fear to which access to information regimes should accord much weight. After all, business embarrassment would also be caused by revelations of waste, fraud, corruption, or other illegality - on the part of the business or the government entity. Yet these are precisely the kinds of cases where public disclosure provides the greatest benefits to society.

I would thus ask DG ENV to perform, in accordance with Regulation 1049/2001, an impartial balancing act considering both the weight of commercial interest but also the possible existence of an overriding public interest in disclosure, in order to succeed a justified decision on the disclosure of the contractual documents requested.

In terms of the second part of the request, considering "the projects' relevant administrative committees", I can confirm that the information already received on TAG-RM, and the publicly available information in the Commission Register on Expert Groups is sufficient and no further information requested.

Also, I do not request disclosure of "the templates of specific and general conditions of the service contract" and "the tender specifications" identified.

Yours sincerely,

Nik Völker, MiningWatch Portugal

ve_sg.recover_accesdocs(SG), Medio Ambiente

1 Adjuntos

Dear Mr Völker,

Please find attached a reply to your request for access to documents GESTDEM 2021/ 1191.

Kind regards,
SG RECOVER ATD

Nik Völker, MiningWatch Portugal

Dear Mr Wimmer, Ms Fernandez, Ms Amuzan, and colleagues of DG ENV,

Hereby I can confirm the reception of your latest communication Ref. Ares(2021)2014177 22/03/2021. Can you confirm the document supplied is intended in response to this request, filed 26/02/2021, with confirmed reception by DG ENV on 02/03/2021? The request refers to "Guidelines for Best Risk Management Approaches in the Extractive Sector" and contractual documents signed with Eco-Efficiency Consulting and Engineering Ltd et al.

The request identified above does not, however, make any references to "draft Recovery and Resilience Plan of Portugal" - as stated in your response Ref. Ares(2021)2014177 22/03/2021.

I assume the response was erroneously attributed to this request, while in fact being intended as a response to a separate request with Secretariat General of the European Commission, filed 02/03/2021, and registered by SG EC on the same day. It is filed with AskTheEU.org in a different feed - https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/reco...

I'd thus appreciate a clarification by DG ENV or SG EC, confirming this request on contractual documents, related with "Guidelines for Best Risk Management Approaches in the Extractive Sector", is still pending.

Yours sincerely,

Nik Völker, MiningWatch Portugal

SG-RECOVER-ATD@ec.europa.eu, Medio Ambiente

1 Adjuntos

Dear Mr Völker,

Please find attached a reply to your request for access to documents GESTDEM 2021/ 1191.

Kind regards,
SG RECOVER ATD

SG-RECOVER-ATD@ec.europa.eu, Medio Ambiente

Dear Mr Völker,

We have now sent the reply related to GESTDEM 2021/1191 to [email address]

Kind regards,
SG RECOVER ATD

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ve_grow.i.1(GROW), Medio Ambiente

1 Adjuntos

Please find attached document Ares(2021)2125715 from ve_grow.access documents (GROW.B.1) dated 26/03/2021.

Best regards,

GROW. I.1
Secretary
Unit of Energy Intensive Industries - Raw Materials
GROW.I1

European Commission
DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
BREY 11/200
+32 2 29 63730
[email address]

ENV-B03-ARES@ec.europa.eu, Medio Ambiente

1 Adjuntos

 

Dear Mr Völker,

 

Please find attached ono behalf of our Director-General Ms Florika
FINK-HOOIJER the above mentioned reply to your request.

 

Do not hesitate to contact our services should you have any further
questions.

 

Best regards,

 

ENV.B3 - Waste Management & Secondary Materials

 

 

 

GROW I1, Medio Ambiente

1 Adjuntos