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Data on Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) disbursements

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Dear European Investment Bank,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain data on on funds the EIB has allocated to the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

This should include: details regarding the suppliers commissioned by the beneficiary countries with the implementation of the projects; the amounts committed and disbursed to each supplier; and tender/contract references where available.

I request that you send me the information in a spreadsheet format.

I would like to remind you that the regulation requires you to confirm the receipt of my request immediately, and provide the requested documents within 15 working days from today.

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Henshaw

EIB Infodesk, Banque européenne d'investissement

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for contacting the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Your request was assigned the following Reference Number [IFD000010250190]. Please retain this number for any future communication.

Please note that your request has entered a queuing system and will be treated in the shortest possible time.

Yours faithfully,
EIB Infodesk team
_______________________
For more details concerning EIB procedures for handling information requests, please refer to the EIB Group "Transparency Policy": (http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...). If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Afficher les sections citées

EIB Infodesk, Banque européenne d'investissement

Dear Ms. Henshaw,

Thank you for your message regarding your access to documents request of 8
September 2020 sent to the European Investment Bank (EIB) via the
AsktheEU.org website.

We would like to confirm that your request is still being handled by the
Bank in accordance with the provisions of the EIB Group Transparency
Policy
(http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...).

Given the complexity of your request, and in line with Articles 5.23 and
5.24 of the EIB Group Transparency Policy, we have extended the time limit
to respond. We expect to be able to get back to you shortly and within the
30 working days extended deadline foreseen in the Transparency Policy for
such cases.

We thank you in advance for your understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Infodesk Team
European Investment Bank
[EIB request email]
_______________________
For more details concerning EIB procedures for handling information
requests, please refer to the EIB Group "Transparency Policy": (
[1]http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...
). If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
___________________________________________________________
From: [FOI #8539 email]
To: [email address]
Cc:
Sent: 08/09/2020 16:50:30
Subject: access to documents request - Data on Western Balkans Investment
Framework (WBIF) disbursements

Dear European Investment Bank,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in
Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain data on on
funds the EIB has allocated to the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

This should include: details regarding the suppliers commissioned by the
beneficiary countries with the implementation of the projects; the amounts
committed and disbursed to each supplier; and tender/contract references
where available.

I request that you send me the information in a spreadsheet format.

I would like to remind you that the regulation requires you to confirm the
receipt of my request immediately, and provide the requested documents
within 15 working days from today.

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Henshaw

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a request for access to information under Article 15 of the TFEU
and, where applicable, Regulation 1049/2001 which has been sent via the
AsktheEU.org website.

Please kindly use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #8539 email]

If [EIB request email] is the wrong address for information requests to European
Investment Bank, please tell the AsktheEU.org team on email
[email address]

This message and all replies from European Investment Bank will be
published on the AsktheEU.org website. For more information see our
dedicated page for EU public officials at
[2]https://www.asktheeu.org/en/help/officers

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

______________________________________
EIB Request Reference: IFD000010250190

Afficher les sections citées

References

Visible links
1. http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...
2. https://www.asktheeu.org/en/help/officers

InfoDesk, Banque européenne d'investissement

Dear Ms Henshaw,

 

We refer to your message of 08 September 2020 addressed to the European
Investment Bank (EIB) via the AsktheEU.org website requesting data on the
Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).  We also refer to our message
of the same date, extending the timeline to reply to your request. Your
request has been handled in line with the provisions of the EIB Group
Transparency Policy (EIB-TP) [1], which applies to such requests addressed
to the EIB.

 

With regard to the first paragraph of your request, the EIB would like to
clarify that the WBIF is a blending instrument whereby the European
Commission, several International Financial Institutions –IFIs- (EIB,
EBRD, CEB, KfW, WB, AFD), 20 bilateral donors and 6 beneficiary countries
combine grants and loans to define a common pipeline of priority
investment projects for the Western Balkans. You may find information on
the dedicated website [1]https://www.wbif.eu/ , as well as on the website
of the WBIF platform that covers the private sector and SMEs at
[2]www.wbedif.eu

 

The EIB contributes to the WBIF with: i) its own grants (EUR 10 m); ii) by
using the grants made available by the donors to  the WBIF such as the
European Commission; and iii) with loans granted on its own resources
(approximately EUR 3.3 bn) that are blended with the available grants.

 

The EIB understands that the second paragraph of your request concerns
data on project-level procurement. In this regard, you specifically
request information on:

a)      suppliers commissioned by the beneficiary countries for the
implementation of the projects;

b)     amounts committed and disbursed to each supplier;

c)      tender/contract references where available.

 

With regard to this part of your request, a distinction should be made
between two situations: (i) when the EIB does not directly procure and
(ii) when the EIB does directly procure.

 

Situation (i)

 

The Contracting Authorities are responsible for project-implementation,
including all aspects of the procurement process in accordance with the
EIB Guide to Procurement [2]. In these cases, the main role of the Bank is
to verify whether financing conditions are fulfilled by reviewing the
Contracting Authorities’ procurement decisions in line with the Guide to
Procurement.  With regard to point (a) of your request, the Guide to
Procurement requires the Contracting Authorities to publish in the
Official Journal of the EU all award notices for International Procurement
Procedures. With regard to your other requests, the Bank always disburses
to the Contracting Authorities, which are in charge of procurement,
commitment and disbursement towards their suppliers. We therefore invite
you to check [3]https://ted.europa.eu/TED/browse/browseB... for
international award notices and to contact the concerned Contracting
Authorities for other requested information, which fall within the remit
of the Contracting Authorities.

 

Situation (ii)

 

This is only the case for a specific type of operations called
Infrastructure Project Facilities (IPFs), under which, on behalf of the
whole WBIF, the EIB tenders EU grants to provide technical assistance
services to the final beneficiaries. In such cases, the EIB is the
Contracting Authority of relevant procurement contracts. You can find
information on the IPF tenders in the Official Journal of the European
Union [4]. This information covers points (a), (b) and (c) of your
request, with the exception of disbursements.

 

In particular, the EIB would like to inform you that, in the 2014-2020
programming period, the Bank awarded service contracts for a total of EUR
180 m under the IPF facilities.

The EIB cannot disclose detailed disbursement data because doing so would
harm commercial interests [5] e.g. by revealing insights into the cash
flows of the parties involved.

 

We hope you find this information useful and remain at your disposal
should you need any further clarifications [6].

Yours sincerely,

EIB InfoDesk team

 

[1]
[4]https://www.eib.org/en/publications/eib-...

[2] [5]https://www.eib.org/en/publications/guid...

[3] This is in line with Art. 5.1(a) EIB-TP.

[4] [6]https://www.eib.org/en/about/procurement.... You can find
relevant information by typing “IPF” in the search window.

[5] This is in line with Art. 5.5, first bullet point, EIB-TP. In line
with Art. 5.7 EIB-TP, the EIB has not identified any public interest in
disclosure that would override this exception.

[6] In line with Art. 5.31 EIB-TP, in case of a total or partial refusal
following your initial application, you have the right to make a
confirmatory application asking the Bank to reconsider its position, or
lodge a complaint with the EIB Group Complaints Mechanism.

_______________________

For more details concerning EIB procedures for handling information
requests, please refer to the EIB Group "Transparency Policy": (
http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...
).  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

___________________________________________________________
From: [7][FOI #8539 email]
To: [8][email address]
Cc:
Sent: 08/09/2020 16:50:30
Subject: access to documents request - Data on Western Balkans Investment
Framework (WBIF) disbursements

Dear European Investment Bank,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in
Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain data on on
funds the EIB has allocated to the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

This should include: details regarding the suppliers commissioned by the
beneficiary countries with the implementation of the projects; the amounts
committed and disbursed to each supplier; and tender/contract references
where available.

I request that you send me the information in a spreadsheet format.

I would like to remind you that the regulation requires you to confirm the
receipt of my request immediately, and provide the requested documents
within 15 working days from today.

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Henshaw

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a request for access to information under Article 15 of the TFEU
and, where applicable, Regulation 1049/2001 which has been sent via the
AsktheEU.org website.

Please kindly use this email address for all replies to this request:
[9][FOI #8539 email]

If [10][EIB request email] is the wrong address for information requests to
European Investment Bank, please tell the AsktheEU.org team on email
[11][email address]

This message and all replies from European Investment Bank will be
published on the AsktheEU.org website. For more information see our
dedicated page for EU public officials at
[12]https://www.asktheeu.org/en/help/officers

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

______________________________________
EIB Request Reference: IFD000010250190

Afficher les sections citées

References

Visible links
1. https://www.wbif.eu/
2. http://www.wbedif.eu/
3. https://ted.europa.eu/TED/browse/browseB...
4. https://www.eib.org/en/publications/eib-...
5. https://www.eib.org/en/publications/guid...
6. https://www.eib.org/en/about/procurement...
7. mailto:[FOI #8539 email]
8. mailto:[email address]
9. mailto:[FOI #8539 email]
10. mailto:[EIB request email]
11. mailto:[AsktheEU.org contact email]
12. https://www.asktheeu.org/en/help/officers

Caroline Henshaw

Dear InfoDesk,

I write in response to your message from October 2020 refusing to provide the information I requested about the EIB's disbursements under the WBIF.

In your reply you declined to provide data on the basis that "doing so would harm commercial interests [5] e.g. by revealing insights into the cash flows of the parties involved."

I dispute this conclusion. The WBIF was was created to support EU enlargement and socio-economic development and uses public funds to do so, therefore it must be accountable for how those funds are being spent and who is benefitting from them to the European public.

If you continue to refuse to provide this information I will be forced to lodge a complaint with the European Ombudsman. The investigative journalism organization where I work, OCCRP, will also be forced to focus our reporting efforts on uncovering why a public institution such as the EIB is so reticent to disclose this information.

Yours sincerely,
Caroline Henshaw

Caroline Henshaw

Dear European Investment Bank,

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 'Data on Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) disbursements'.

I first requested this information in September 2020. After much back and forth, and several delays, I was told in October that I could not be given this information "because doing so would harm commercial interests [5] e.g. by revealing insights into the cash flows of the parties involved."

I dispute this decision. The information I requested relates to projects financed by the EIB under the WBIF. These are large-scale public projects funded using public money in EU accessions states, therefore how this money is spent is a matter of public interest.

If the EIB continues to refuse to my request I will be forced to lodge a complaint with the ombudsman. The investigative journalism organization where I work, OCCRP, will also be forced to focus our reporting efforts on uncovering why a public institution such as the EIB is so reticent to disclose this information.

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

I expect a response within the week or I shall raise a complaint with the European Ombudsman.

Yours faithfully,
Caroline Henshaw

EIB Infodesk, Banque européenne d'investissement

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for contacting the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Your request was assigned the following Reference Number [IFD000010252963]. Please retain this number for any future communication.

Please note that your request has entered a queuing system and will be treated in the shortest possible time.

Yours faithfully,
EIB Infodesk team
_______________________
For more details concerning EIB procedures for handling information requests, please refer to the EIB Group "Transparency Policy": (http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...). If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Afficher les sections citées

EIB Infodesk, Banque européenne d'investissement

Dear Ms. Henshaw,

Thank you for your e-mail and interest in the European Investment Bank
(EIB), the long-term financing institution of the European Union.

We hereby confirm receipt of your query of 10 March 2021 received via the
AsktheEU website, which is being handled in line with the provisions of
the EIB Group Transparency Policy. We will revert to you as soon as
possible.

Many thanks for your kind understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Infodesk Team
European Investment Bank
[EIB request email]
_______________________
For more details concerning EIB procedures for handling information
requests, please refer to the EIB Group "Transparency Policy": (
[1]http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...
). If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
___________________________________________________________

Afficher les sections citées

InfoDesk, Banque européenne d'investissement

Dear Ms. Henshaw,

We refer to your messages of 10 and 15 March 2021, addressed to the
European Investment Bank (EIB) via the AsktheEU.org website requesting
data on the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).  We also refer to
our acknowledgement of receipt of 15 March 2021. Your request has been
handled in line with the provisions of the EIB Group Transparency Policy
(EIB-TP)[1]^[1], which applies to such requests addressed to the EIB.

We would first like to inform you that the deadline set out in the
EIB-TP[2]^[2] to lodge a confirmatory application in relation to the EIB’s
initial reply of 15 October 2020 in response to your initial request of 8
September 2020 has expired. Therefore, your confirmatory application is
inadmissible ratione temporis.

Even though your confirmatory application is clearly time-barred, and
noting that the present response cannot and does not in any way call into
question this procedural certainty, the EIB, going beyond its legal duties
as set out in the EIB-TP nonetheless provides the following response.

We understand that your request specifically concerns the disbursement
data of the service contracts awarded by the EIB under the IPF facilities.

Following consultation with the third parties concerned[3]^[3], we are
pleased to provide you below with the requested disbursement amounts as of
today;

Contracted amount Disbursed/Paid amount
IPF4 22,949,800 22,842,201
IPF5 25,568,600 23,011,387
IPF6 25,075,200 20,061,562
IPF7 34,560,000 15,405,967
IPF8 23,053,500 7,150,548
IFF9 21,960,000 5,050,569
IPF10 22,744,900 0.00

 

For additional information regarding the Western Balkans Investment
Framework (WBIF), we also kindly invite you to visit its website[4]^[4].

We hope you find this information useful, and remain at your disposal
should you need any further clarifications[5]^[5].

Yours sincerely,

 

Infodesk Team

European Investment Bank

[6][EIB request email]

 

^1
[7]http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...

^2 See Art. 5.31, EIB-TP

^3 See Art.5.9, EIB-TP

^4 [8]https://www.wbif.eu/

^5 We note, with reference to your statement regarding a possible
complaint before the European Ombudsman that, in accordance with the
EIB-TP (namely Articles 5.31- 5.34 and 6.4. EIB- TP) and with the
Memorandum of Understanding between the EIB `and the European Ombudsman of
2008, the applicant who is not satisfied with the EIB’s reply of total or
partial refusal, before turning to the EO will have to lodge his/her
complaint to the EIB- Complaint Mechanism. In case of dissatisfaction with
the complaint lodged with the EIB Complaints Mechanism, the applicant is
entitled to lodge a complaint before the EO.

_______________________

For more details concerning EIB procedures for handling information
requests, please refer to the EIB Group "Transparency Policy": (
[9]http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publicatio...
).  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

___________________________________________________________
From: [10][FOI #8539 email]
To: [11][email address]
Cc:
Sent: 15/03/2021 10:07:22
Subject: Internal review of access to documents request - Data on Western
Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF)

Dear European Investment Bank,

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 'Data on Western Balkans Investment Framework
(WBIF) disbursements'.

I first requested this information in September 2020. After much back and
forth, and several delays, I was told in October that I could not be given
this information "because doing so would harm commercial interests [5]
e.g. by revealing insights into the cash flows of the parties involved."

I dispute this decision. The information I requested relates to projects
financed by the EIB under the WBIF. These are large-scale public projects
funded using public money in EU accessions states, therefore how this
money is spent is a matter of public interest.

If the EIB continues to refuse to my request I will be forced to lodge a
complaint with the ombudsman. The investigative journalism organization
where I work, OCCRP, will also be forced to focus our reporting efforts on
uncovering why a public institution such as the EIB is so reticent to
disclose this information.

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

I expect a response within the week or I shall raise a complaint with the
European Ombudsman.

Yours faithfully,
Caroline Henshaw

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[13][FOI #8539 email]

This message and all replies from European Investment Bank will be
published on the AsktheEU.org website. For more information see our
dedicated page for EU public officials at
[14]https://www.asktheeu.org/en/help/officers

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

___________________________________________________________
From: [15][FOI #8539 email]
To: [16][email address]
Cc:
Sent: 10/03/2021 13:01:01
Subject: Internal review of access to documents request - Data on Western
Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF)

Dear InfoDesk,

I write in response to your message from October 2020 refusing to provide
the information I requested about the EIB's disbursements under the WBIF.

In your reply you declined to provide data on the basis that "doing so
would harm commercial interests [5] e.g. by revealing insights into the
cash flows of the parties involved."

I dispute this conclusion. The WBIF was was created to support EU
enlargement and socio-economic development and uses public funds to do so,
therefore it must be accountable for how those funds are being spent and
who is benefitting from them to the European public.

If you continue to refuse to provide this information I will be forced to
lodge a complaint with the European Ombudsman. The investigative
journalism organization where I work, OCCRP, will also be forced to focus
our reporting efforts on uncovering why a public institution such as the
EIB is so reticent to disclose this information.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Henshaw

Afficher les sections citées

Nous ne savons pas si la réponse la plus récente à cette demande contient l'information ou non – si vous etes Caroline Henshaw veuillez vous connecter et laisser nous savoir.