Dear Madam, Sir,

In 2018, the EU's anti-fraud office OLAF recommended to DG DEVCO that it blacklisted a Dutch company "so that it cannot access EU funds for a certain number of years".

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:

- DG DEVCO's response to OLAF's recommendation
- A list of all companies which are blacklisted

The fraudulent use of EU funds, or other public funds, is of great concern. The public interest in knowing the companies which are blacklisted therefore overrides the commercial interests of a natural or legal person.

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

postal address:
Peter Teffer
Ekko Voorkamer
Bemuurde Weerd WZ 3
3513 BH Utrecht
The Netherlands

International Cooperation and Development

1 Attachment

Dear Sir,

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 04/09/2019. We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents, which was registered on
05/09/2019 under reference number GestDem 2019/5153.

 

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
26/09/2019. 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 third-party 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 system.

 

Please note that the private third party running the AsktheEU.org website
is responsible and accountable for the processing of your personal data
via that website, and not the European Commission. For further information
on your rights, please refer to the third party’s privacy policy.

 

We understand that the third party running that website usually publishes
the content of applicants’ correspondence with the European Commission on
that website. This includes the personal data that you may have
communicated to the European Commission (e.g. your private postal
address).

 

Similarly, the third party publishes on that website any reply that the
Commission will send to the email address of the applicants generated by
the AsktheEU.org website.

 

If you do not wish your correspondence with the European Commission to be
published on the AsktheEU.org website, you can provide us with an
alternative, private e-mail address for further correspondence. In that
case, the European Commission will send all future electronic
correspondence addressed to you only to that private address.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

European Commission

Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

Belgium

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

 

 

 

Afficher les sections citées

International Cooperation and Development

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Further to your initial application for access to documents introduced on
04/09/2019, we regret to inform you that your application cannot be
handled pending the submission of a valid, real and personal (and not a
generic) postal address.

 

Indeed, on 1 April 2014, the submission of a postal address became a
mandatory feature for the purpose of introducing a request for access to
documents.

 

The decision to ask for a postal address from applicants for access to
documents was triggered by the following considerations:

 

·         The need to obtain legal certainty as regards the date of
receipt of the reply by the applicant under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.
Indeed, as foreseen by Article 297 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union (TFEU), […] decisions which specify to whom they are
addressed, shall be notified to those to whom they are addressed and shall
take effect upon such notification. Replies triggering the possibility for
administrative or judicial redress are therefore transmitted via
registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. This requires an
indication of a valid postal address by the applicant;

 

·         The need to direct the Commission's scarce resources first of
all to those requests which have been filed by "real" applicants. With
only a compulsory indication of an e-mail address, applicants can easily
introduce requests under an invented identity or under the identity of a
third person. Asking for a postal address helps the Commission to protect
the administration, as well as other citizens and legal persons, from
abuse;

 

·         For similar reasons, asking for a compulsory indication of a
postal address enables the Commission services to verify whether Article
6(3) of the Regulation, on voluminous requests, is being evaded by
introducing several requests under different identities. Indeed, in its
Ryanair judgment, the General Court confirmed that Article 6(3) cannot be
evaded by splitting the application into a number of applications. The
Commission would like to point out that, in 2012/2013, it received some 57
confirmatory requests from what it suspects to be one single applicant
operating under 13 different identities;

 

·         Knowing whether the applicant is an EU resident in the sense of
Article 2(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 is a precondition for the
purpose of correctly applying the exception in Article 4(1)(b) of
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 (protection of the privacy and integrity of
the individual), which has to be interpreted in accordance with Data
Protection Regulation 45/2001. Article 9 of Regulation 45/2001 requires
the adequacy of the level of protection afforded by the third country or
international organisation when transmitting personal data to
third-country residents or legal persons. It follows that, in case of
requests for documents which include personal data, the correct
application of the data protection rules cannot be ensured in the absence
of a postal address enabling the Commission to ascertain that the minimum
data protection standards will be respected.

 

All of these considerations show that the request for and the consequent
processing of a real and personal postal address is not only appropriate
but also strictly necessary for the performance of a task carried out in
the public interest within the meaning of Article 5 (a) of Data Protection
Regulation 45/2001, namely providing a smooth and effective access to
documents.

 

We therefore kindly urge you to please provide a real and valid postal
address, so as to enable us to deal with your initial application for
access to documents in the meaning of Article 6(1) of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001. The deadline for handling your initial request shall run as
from the moment of the registration of your request following the
submission of a real, personal and valid postal address.

 

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

European Commission

Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

Belgium

[1]https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/

Dear Madam, Sir,

I do not understand your reply. I have provided my postal address, namely
Peter Teffer
Ekko Voorkamer
Bemuurde Weerd WZ 3
3513 BH Utrecht
The Netherlands

Other directorates-general have sent me documents to that address. Your implicit claim that this is not a valid address and that I am not a real applicant is therefore proven to be false by previous actions of the European Commission itself.

Please proceed with my request using this address.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

Yours faithfully,

Peter

International Cooperation and Development

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Thank you for the information provided, and for confirming that this is
your personal address. Considering that you have received the Commission
reply to previous accesses to documents, we would say this is sufficient
for the purpose of obtaining certainty of the date of receipt of the
reply.

As announced in our previous email, the time limit for the process of you
request, registered under reference number GestDem 2019/5153,  will expire
on 26/09/2019. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.

 

Best regards,

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

European Commission

Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

Belgium

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

 

 

Afficher les sections citées

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), International Cooperation and Development

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Ares(2019)5861709 - FW: access to documents request - Blacklist -
AKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT

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

Dear Sir,

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 04/09/2019. We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents, which was registered on
05/09/2019 under reference number:

 

*GestDem 2019/5153 for documents concerning DG DEVCO and

 

              *GestDem 2019/5362 for documents concerning DG BUDG.

 

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
26/09/2019. 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 third-party 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 system.

 

Please note that the private third party running the AsktheEU.org website
is responsible and accountable for the processing of your personal data
via that website, and not the European Commission. For further information
on your rights, please refer to the third party’s privacy policy.

 

We understand that the third party running that website usually publishes
the content of applicants’ correspondence with the European Commission on
that website. This includes the personal data that you may have
communicated to the European Commission (e.g. your private postal
address).

 

Similarly, the third party publishes on that website any reply that the
Commission will send to the email address of the applicants generated by
the AsktheEU.org website.

 

If you do not wish your correspondence with the European Commission to be
published on the AsktheEU.org website, you can provide us with an
alternative, private e-mail address for further correspondence. In that
case, the European Commission will send all future electronic
correspondence addressed to you only to that private address.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

European Commission

Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

Belgium

[6]http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

 

 

 

Afficher les sections citées

GIKAS Triantafyllia(DEVCO), International Cooperation and Development

1 Attachment

Please find attached document Ares(2019)5908891 from PAPAIOANNOU Emmanouil-Georgios (DEVCO.R.2) dated 23/09/2019.

Veuillez trouver ci-joint le document Ares(2019)5908891 de PAPAIOANNOU Emmanouil-Georgios (DEVCO.R.2) daté du 23/09/2019.

Dear Madam, Sir,
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 which was registered as GestDem 2019/5153 for documents concerning DG DEVCO (and GestDem 2019/5362 for documents concerning DG BUDG).

I asked for:

- DG DEVCO's response to OLAF's recent recommendation to blacklist a Dutch company "so that it cannot access EU funds for a certain number of years".
- A list of all companies which are blacklisted

In DG DEVCO's reply to my request, it wrote that it was not able "to identify the “Dutch company” allegedly OLAF recommended DG DEVCO to exclude from participation in any form of contribution from the EU budget for a given period and, therefore, the concrete documents which would correspond to your request".

This can be interpreted as either: a) DG DEVCO has a blacklist but the Dutch company in question is not on it, or b) there is no blacklist at all.

DG DEVCO's letter said that if I "need[ed] assistance in clarifying or specifying your application" I was able to contact them by emailing to [email address]. I did so on 2 October 2019, asking to clarify the following questions which I had after reading DG DEVCO´s letter:

1. Does DG DEVCO have a general blacklist of companies which for some reason should be excluded from participation from EU funded projects?
2. If so, was it the case that this Dutch company was never put on the blacklist? And if not - why does such a blacklist not exist?
3. Was there any internal communication within DG DEVCO about how to respond to this serious recommendation by OLAF?
4. Was there no formal response from DG DEVCO to OLAF about this recommendation?

I need answers to these questions before I can clarify my request.

I have not received an answer from Mr Marques Da Silva, or even an acknowledgment that my email has been received.

I therefore see no choice but to file a confirmatory application.

All the best
Peter Teffer

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

International Cooperation and Development

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Tefffer,

 

 

On 19.09.2019 [Ref. Ares(2019)5861709] the Secretariat General of the
European Commission informed you that your initial request for access to
documents was attributed to two different departments: the question
falling under the competence of DG BUDG (GESTDEM 2019/5362), and the
question falling under the remit of  DG DEVCO (GESTDEM 2019/5153).

 

On 23.09.2019 [Ref. Ares(2019)5908891] DG DEVCO for the part of the
request under its competence requested you to provide clarifications as
regards point (1) of your request for access to documents registered under
reference GESTDEM 2019/5153.

 

In your email dated 2.10.2019, you submitted additional questions as
regards ‘blacklisting’ of companies, issue under the scope of DG BUDG
competence. For the issue under DG DEVCO’s competence, your email did not
however provide the requested information on the identification of the
“Dutch company”.

 

Consequently, as far as request GESTDEM 2019/5153 is concerned, you did
not yet provide the necessary information requested in our letter dated 23
September for us to be able to identify the entity you are referring to
and, therefore, the concrete documents which would correspond to your
request.

 

We would be grateful if you could provide the requested information in
accordance with Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 for us to
proceed with the handling of your request as soon as possible.

 

Please note that the present email relates only to the part of the request
to be handled by DG DEVCO (GESTDEM 2019/5153). You will receive the reply
from DG BUDG on the issues falling under their competence in due course.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

European Commission

Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

Belgium

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Dear Madam, Sir,

I feel like we are going in Kafkaesque circles here.

I do not know which company is the Dutch company referred to in the OLAF report, because the OLAF report does not say so. That was a reason to file the access to documents request: to know which companies DG DEVCO has blacklisted, and whether any Dutch company is on that blacklist. I also want to know what DG DEVCO told OLAF in response to OLAF's recommendation that DG DEVCO blacklists this Dutch company.

These documents, if they exist, should be in the possession of DG DEVCO.

It would help if you would explain why you argued blacklisting is under the scope of DG BUDG, considering that OLAF specifically said in its report that it was DG DEVCO that should do the blacklisting. If OLAF was wrong on that, please let me know.

I also note that the Commission has not at all addressed the four questions which I asked you, but refer to DG BUDG. If you or DG BUDG had answered those four questions, it would have been easier for me to clarify my request. Since my application dated 4 September I have not received any communication from DG BUDG.

Looking forward to receiving a more helpful reply,
Peter Teffer

International Cooperation and Development

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Further to your e-mail dated 22.10.2019 and the replies you received from
the Director General of DG Budget [Ref. Ares (2019)6771502 - 31.10.2019]
and the e-mail from OLAF of 8.11.2019 referring you to the webpage where
you can find the information that is publicly available, as well as
explaining why some information is not in the public domain, we would like
to inform you that we have no further information to add.

As you were informed in the letter from DG Budget, in accordance with
Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) N°1049/2001, you are entitled to make a
confirmatory application requesting the Commission to review this
position.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

European Commission

Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

Belgium