OLAF respect of fundamental rights, Supervisory Committee criticisms for investigations of 2012

La demande est partiellement réussie.

Mr. Aris KOLIMATSIS

Dear European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF),

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 application is inspired by the OLAF 2012 Annual Report and the 2012 Annual Report of the Supervisory Committee.

I. DATA SUBJECT REQUESTS AND COMPLAINTS

OLAF 2012 Annual Report, page 31, left column:

‘Key figures about our activity in 2012:

Data subjects submitted a total of 13 requests for access to their personal data. OLAF granted access to all of them except one, about whom OLAF held no personal data.

A total of eight complaints were ongoing during 2012, of which two were newly filed in 2012.

This has to be put into perspective with the 891 investigations opened since 1 January 2009,
involving more than 2 400 data subjects’.

The application concerns, among others, the partial release of the following documents:

R1. External investigations for centralised expenditure (39 ongoing according to chart 10 of page 19): The data subject requests, if any, and the corresponding OLAF reply(ies).

R2. Internal investigations: Any two (s) data subject requests and the corresponding OLAF replies, for persons OLAF interviewed as ‘person concerned.

R3. The request and OLAF’s reply to the data subject whose personal data OLAF does not hold.

R4. External investigations for centralised expenditure (39 ongoing according to chart 10 of page 19): The complaint(s) under article 23 ‘Complaints concerning failure to respect procedural guarantees’ of the ‘OLAF Instructions to Staff on Investigative Procedures’, if any, and the OLAF’s decision about the complaint(s).

II. OLAF’s MARGIN OF DISCRETION

OLAF 2012 Annual Report,page 31, right column:

‘OLAF has a margin of discretion in conducting investigations, in particular in the field of complex technical operations, and the EDPS will only declare an infringement of data protection rules if OLAF has made a manifest error of assessment.’

The application concerns, among others, the partial release of the following documents:

R5. The EDPS document(s) according to which OLAF drew the conclusion that it enjoys such a wide margin of discretion in processing personal data, and that the EDPS will declare an infringement of Regulation 45/2001 only in cases of ‘manifest error of assessment’.

R6. The documents drawn up by the OLAF Data Protection Officer setting out some kind of analysis about OLAF’s above wide margin of discretion.

R7. The documents drawn up by the OLAF Legal Affairs Unit setting out some kind of analysis about OLAF’s above wide margin of discretion.

III. OBSERVATIONS

I am NOT requesting the transfer of personal data, and therefore the parts of the documents revealing the identities of data subjects are to be blanked out. Similarly, the parts of the documents revealing the identities of legal persons are to be blanked out, save European Institutions.

The application concerns documents about OLAF’s observance of the fundamental rights of privacy, personal data protection, no interference with the private affairs of natural and legal persons except as expressly provided by law, rights of defence, and fair hearing.

Insofar OLAF’s observance of the fundamental rights are concerned, the 2012 Annual Report of the OLAF Supervisory Committee has painted a rather gray, if not black, picture for OLAF’s investigations in 2012; see for instance the criticisms set out in paragraphs 22, 26, 29, 31, 33, 37 (also footnotes 30, 31), 42, 43, 44 (also footnotes 39, 40), and 46 of the report.

Granting the widest possible access under Union law to the requested documents will enable the scrutiny of OLAF’s conduct in individual measures towards natural persons, particularly the respect of fundamental rights.

Consequently, there is an overriding public interest in the widest possible disclosure.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Aris KOLIMATSIS

Office européen de lutte antifraude

Dear Mr Kolimatsis,

We acknowledge receipt of your request dated 18 February 2014 registered in OLAF with registration number Ares(2014)482485 on 24 February 2014, in which you request " access to information request - OLAF respect of fundamental rights, Supervisory Committee criticisms for investigations of 2012".

You may expect to receive a reply from OLAF within 15 working days of the registration of your request.

Best regards,

EUROPEAN COMMISSION
EUROPEAN ANTI-FRAUD OFFICE (OLAF)
Directorate  C: Investigation Support
Unit  C.4 – Legal Advice

Rue Joseph II, 30 • B-1000 Brussels (Belgium)
http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud

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

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Office européen de lutte antifraude

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Kolimatsis,

 

Please find herewith a letter with its annex from the Director of
Directorate A, Ms Kneuer for you information.

 

Best regards,

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION
EUROPEAN ANTI-FRAUD OFFICE (OLAF)
Directorate  C: Investigation Support
Unit  C.4 – 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

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