Investigation regarding Commissioner Johannes Hahn

Alexander Fanta a fait une demande de Accès à l'information à Office européen de lutte antifraude

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En attente d'une révision interne par Office européen de lutte antifraude a propos de leur gestion de la demande.

Dear European Anti-Fraud Office,

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:

- The final report, draft final report or any other summary report of the preliminary investigation by OLAF into a possible conflict of interest of Commissioner Johannes Hahn, as first reported by French daily Liberation on December 1st, 2021

Please note that the applicant is aware of the case law in Guido Strack v European Commission, which found that OLAF can rely on the general presumption that access to the administrative file processed by OLAF would undermine the protection of the purpose of its investigations. However, I would also like to point OLAF to the more recent case of Homoki v Commission (T-517/19), in which the General Court found that there must be limits to such a general presumption. For instance, OLAF could no longer invoke the objective of protecting its own investigative activities if the investigations had already been completed. In the case cited, the Court annulled a decision not to grant access to OLAF's final investigation report. In the spirit of this recent decision, I ask to make available the document or documents in question.

Also, I would like to point out that this request is made in my role as journalist. The subject of the request has been a matter of media speculation in the French and Austrian press, with particular focus drawn to the fact while OLAF has an individual independent status in its investigative function, it is also part of the European Commission, under the responsibility of Johannes Hahn as Commissioner in charge of Budget and Administration. Any investigation which concerns Mr. Hahn as a suspect of wrongdoing or even as person of interest is therefore of particular sensitivity, as even the presumption of institutional wrongdoing would harm the interest of the European institutions. I therefore argue that the matter should be held to the highest possible standard of transparency and there is overwhelming public interest in disclosure.

Yours faithfully,

Alexander Fanta
Schönhauser Allee 6-7
10119 Berlin
Germany

OLAF-FM-D2@ec.europa.eu, Office européen de lutte antifraude

Dear Mr Fanta,

 

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 19/12/2021.  We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your request for access to documents.

 

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 18
January 2022. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION
EUROPEAN ANTI-FRAUD OFFICE (OLAF)
Directorate  D – General Affairs
Unit  D.2 – Legal Advice
Rue Joseph II, 30 • B-1000 Brussels (Belgium)

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud

Our policy regarding personal data protection can be viewed on
[2]http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afficher les sections citées

OLAF-FM-D2@ec.europa.eu, Office européen de lutte antifraude

Dear Mr Alexander Fanta,

 

We refer to your application for public access to documents dated
19/12/2021.

 

Your application is currently being handled. However, we will not be in a
position to complete the handling of your application within the time
limit of 15 working days.

 

An extended time limit is needed to finalise the internal consultation
process within OLAF.

 

Therefore, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) N° 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit will expire on 08/02/2022.

 

We apologise for the delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION
EUROPEAN ANTI-FRAUD OFFICE (OLAF)
Directorate D – General Affairs
Unit D.2 – Legal Advice
Rue Joseph II, 30 • B-1000 Brussels (Belgium)

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud

Our policy regarding personal data protection can be viewed on
[2]http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/...

 

References

Visible links
1. http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud
2. http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/...

OLAF-FM-D2@ec.europa.eu, Office européen de lutte antifraude

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Fanta,

 

Please find attached the reply from OLAF to your request for access to
documents in your letter of 19/12/2021.

 

Due to the present circumstances, the letter is only sent by email and we
would therefore kindly request that you acknowledge safe receipt.

 

Kind regards,

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION
EUROPEAN ANTI-FRAUD OFFICE (OLAF)
Directorate D – General Affairs
Unit D.2 – Legal Advice
Rue Joseph II, 30 • B-1000 Brussels (Belgium)

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud

Our policy regarding personal data protection can be viewed
on [2]http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/...

 

References

Visible links
1. http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud
2. http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/...

Dear Mr. ITÄLÄ, dear OLAF team,

I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request 'Investigation regarding Commissioner Johannes Hahn'.

As mentioned in my initial application, I would like to obtain documents in regard to a preliminary investigation by OLAF into a possible conflict of interest of Commissioner Johannes Hahn, as first reported by French daily Liberation on December 1st, 2021. As you reply that OLAF does not hold any documents that would
correspond to the description given in my initial application, I would like to widen the scope of my request in this confirmatory application to all documents concerning a possible conflict of interest of Commissioner Hahn.

As pointed out in my initial request, I am aware of the case law in Guido Strack v European Commission, which found that OLAF can rely on the general presumption that access to the administrative file processed by OLAF would undermine the protection of the purpose of its investigations. However, I would also like to point OLAF to the more recent case of Homoki v Commission (T-517/19), in which the General Court found that there must be limits to such a general presumption. For instance, OLAF could no longer invoke the objective of protecting its own investigative activities if the investigations had already been completed. In the case cited, the Court annulled a decision not to grant access to OLAF's final investigation report. In the spirit of this recent decision, I ask to make available the document or documents in question.

Also, I would like to point out that this request is made in my role as journalist. The subject of the request has been a matter of media speculation in the French and Austrian press, with particular focus drawn to the fact while OLAF has an individual independent status in its investigative function, it is also part of the European Commission, under the responsibility of Johannes Hahn as Commissioner in charge of Budget and Administration. Any investigation which concerns Mr. Hahn as a suspect of wrongdoing or even as person of interest is therefore of particular sensitivity, as even the presumption of institutional wrongdoing would harm the interest of the European institutions. I therefore argue that the matter should be held to the highest possible standard of transparency and there is overwhelming public interest in disclosure.

I note that in your reply you state that any confirmatory application to OLAF should be sent to the official address in Brussels. If you insist, I am happy to sent this per post, but I would ask to please consider an electronic application and save me the postage stamp.

Yours faithfully,

Alexander Fanta

Dear [email address],

I also sent my confirmatory application by post.

Yours sincerely,

Alexander Fanta

OLAF-FM-D2@ec.europa.eu, Office européen de lutte antifraude

Dear Mr Fanta,

 

Thank you for your email dated 02/02/2022, by which you made an electronic
confirmatory application. We note that you sent the same application by
post, by letter dated 07/02/2022, which was registered on 16/02/2022 under
reference number Ares(2022)1136451. 

 

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, your confirmatory
application will be handled within 15 working days. This time limit will
expire on 23/02/2022.

 

While we are doing our best to handle your application within the shortest
time possible , please note that we will not be in a position to complete
the handling of your application by 23/02/2022. An extended time limit is
needed to complete the internal consultation process.

 

Therefore, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) N° 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit will expire on 16/03/2022.

 

We apologise for the delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION
EUROPEAN ANTI-FRAUD OFFICE (OLAF)
Directorate D – General Affairs
Unit D.2 – Legal Advice
Rue Joseph II, 30 • B-1000 Brussels (Belgium)

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud

Our policy regarding personal data protection can be viewed on
[2]http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/...

 

References

Visible links
1. http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud
2. http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/...

Alexander Fanta

Dear OLAF team,

any news on my request?

Yours sincerely,

Alexander Fanta

Dear OLAF team,

any news on my request? Please confirm you have received this message.

Yours sincerely,

Alexander Fanta