OLAF's request for a certified copy of a national identity document as a precondition, rules under decision 937/2001, personal data protection

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Dear Secretariat General (SG),

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:

This application under Regulation No 1049/2001 stems from:

1. The OLAF letter of 18/12/2013 THOR 32635, http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/878/r..., which concerns a confirmatory application of the undersigned under Regulation No 1049/2001. OLAF has requested that I submit a "certified copy of your national identity document", otherwise OLAF will not proceed with the handling the confirmatory application.

2. The last sub-paragraph of article 10 of Commission Decision 937/2001 (OJ 2001 L 345/94) stipulates: "The Secretariat-General shall ensure coordination and uniform implementation of these rules by Commission Directorates-General and departments. To this end, it shall provide all necessary advice and guidelines". Presumably, the rules refer to the entire Decision.

The request of OLAF is most probably unprecedented and introduces a burdensome obligation to applicants-natural persons. Obtaining a certified copy of the 'national identity document' is not a trivial matter. Furthermore, such kind of a document contains personal data that OLAF is not lawfully entitled to requested for the purposes of establishing the nationality of an applicant who has lodged an application pursuant to Regulation 1049/2001.

Article 4 of Decision 937/2001 empowers the OLAF Director-General to adopt decision as to the disclosure of documents of OLAF's investigations. However, it does not allow OLAF to impose its own more onerous rules for identifying the nationality of applicants requesting OLAF's documents.

Requesting an applicant to transfer to OLAF his or her the personal data contain in a national identity document is manifestly an infringement of several provisions of Regulation 45/2001. For instance, it is not necessary to disclose to OLAF the applicant's date of birth, meaning that such kind of personal data processing is not compliant with article 4 of that Regulation. The recipient has not established the necessity of transferring such kind of the personal data to OLAF; this is an infringement of article 7(1) of that Regulation. It is even questionable whether article 5(a) is satisfied, in so far OLAF has requested the entire identity document.

In my view, OLAF's request is not based on a legal provision. It is also entirely meaningless, since every single EU citizen is entitled to lodge an application for the documents at issue. In the event that a citizen would not be willing to disclose his or her identity details to OLAF, he or she could lodge the application through a lawyer or via a third person. Nearly half of billion EU citizens are entitled to request the documents at issue.

The purpose of this request is the release of documents drawn up by the Secretariat-General with the rules of identification of applicants and compliance with Regulation 45/2001.

I would appreciate if the Commission services disclose the following documents:

1. The rules adopted pursuant to Decision 937/2001 that apply to the identification of natural and legal persons.

2. For all applications under Regulation 1049/2001 lodged so far, and for which an applicant-natural person was requested by the Commission services to provide proof of identity, the documents with the request of the administrative department to the applicant, as well as any documents with remarks or objections of the applicant about the request to provide proof of identity.

The article 25 of Regulation 45/2001 prior notification covering the personal data processing of applicants-natural persons for applications under Regulation 1049/2001. This request concerns all previous versions of the prior notification, as well as the Privacy Statement (article 11 of Regulation 45/2001).

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Tasos Ntetsikas

Dear Secretariat General (SG),

I refer to the application under Regulation No 1049/2001 lodged on 20 December 2013 http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/olafs....

Although 13 working days have passed since the lodging of the application, the asktheueu.org website indicates that the Secretariat-General has not registered the application.

I would be obliged if the Transparency Unit would acknowledge the registration of the application of 20/12/2013.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Tasos Ntetsikas