“Personal” correspondence of European Commision staff (Mr Paul Nemitz) on financial irregularities

En attente d'une révision interne par Justice et Consommateurs a propos de leur gestion de la demande.

Dear Justice (JUST), Dear Ms Francoise Le Bail,

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:

Under link below can be found the private/ “Personal” correspondence of Mr Morten Kjaerum with European Commission (Mr Paul Nemitz) related to financial irregularities at Danish Institute for Human Rights: http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/477/r...
Mr Paul Nemitz, is the the European Commission representative in FRA Management Board http://fra.europa.eu/en/about-fra/struct...

As you can observe, there are three emails:
- first one, from Mr Kajerum to Mr Nemitz, dated 15 January 2012, 21:54 p.m,
- second one, reply by Mr Nemiz sent from his I-phone, dated same day, 15 January 2012, 23:24 p.m,
- third one, a follow up from Mr Kajerum to Mr Nemitz, dated 19 January 2012, 14:46 p.m,

The text of 19 January 2012 email reads:

“Dear Paul,
The Danish electronic media and net journals covered the story Monday 16 and the printed media on Tuesday 17 largely repeating the net versions from the day before. Over all the message has come across that it is an issue of financial irregularities – no fraud and no losses for anybody – and that the amount is minimal. Of course some part of the media had dramatic headlines which were not based on the actual text. For now I consider the issue for having no or only minimal media interest. Next week 24th the report from the state auditors will be published. I have not seen it but according to the information conveyed to me it is broadly speaking less dramatic than what the minister had in his press briefings. Thus, if that is correct the media will most likely not reopen the issue.
I will keep you informed.
Best regards,
Morten”

As noticeable in the last lines of email, Mr Kjaerum stated implicitly that Danish Minister exaggerated the issues related to financial irregularities found at Danish Institute for Human Rights.

You might recall that on 16/01/2012, Mr Christian Friis Bach, the Development Minister, talked about false accounting and fictive projects at DIHR (i.e. “the deliberate transfer of old losses to non-existing projects that were created for this purpose”) and called the findings "worrying” in his public statement of 16 January 2012, available in Danish newspaper “The Copenhagen Post ” and here: http://cphpost.dk/news/national/foreign-... .

I would appreciate if you could facilitate me to access the following documents and information:

1. The entire correspondence or transcription of phone logs of Mr Kjaerum with Mr Paul Nemitz and the other members of FRA Management Board, related to financial irregularities at DIHR.
2. Documents referring to actions initiated by Mr Paul Nemitz for transmitting the information from Morten Kjaerum to Chair or Executive Board of Management Board of FRA.
3. Any documents, notes, phone logs of European Commission (Mr Paul Nemitz or other EC officials) with Danish Audit body and / or Foreign Affair Minister or Mr Christian Friis Bach, the Development Minister.
4. All documents showing official position of European Commission and representatives of European Commission in FRA Management Board, in relation to DIHR financial irregularities and their impact on the EU budget .

As you know the EU legislation requires that financial irregularities in bidder`s accounts have to be reported by them, via special declarations as this one http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/477/r... , submitted by Mr Jonas Christofersen for the last grant from EC awarded in 2013 http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/548/r...

http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/477/r...

For some reasons, this disclosure did not happen in the case of DIHR. As you can see above in Mr Kjaerum email, for him financial irregularities represents something not important (he wrote to Mr Nemitz : “it is an issue of financial irregularities – no fraud and no losses for anybody – and that the amount is minimal.”), which anyway is in contradiction with EC antifraud policy available here http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/477/r... , which sanctions such financial irregularities by posting losses in inexistent projects.

I would like also to enquire if amount of 3.200.000 DKK in losses posted in inexistent projects represent a minimal amount for European Commission and their delegates at FRA, as Mr Kjaerum says in his private email to Mr Paul Nemitz.

As you know, the EU legislations requires that if one bidder or candidate for grants fails to report financial irregularities via Declaration, the contracting authority (EC of FRA) must check the irregularities, and if irregularities are confirmed shall terminate the contracts and grants and recover the amounts back to the EU budget.

I particularly would like to access the final audit reports by Danish Ministry of Development and Danish audit body, in case European Commission is in possession of these audit reports.

Under EC FTS system and also in asktheeu website you can find the list of grants awarded by European Commission to DIHR. You can see all those list also under DIHR applications itself, submitted to EC and available at http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/477/r...
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/477/r... and in many other places of this website.

Please find an overview below:

1. 2008 European Commission VP/2008/005/183 - 265.474 Euro

2. 2008 European Commission JLS/2008/FRAC/AG1241 - 389.894 Euro

3. 2008 European Commission JLS/2008/FRAC/AG/1226 - 498.915 Euro

4. 2008 EC Directorate-General, Justice 2008 - 10.400 Euro

5. 2009 EC Employment, Social Affairs VP/2009/0390 - 217.263 Euro

6. 2009 EC Directorate-General, Justice JUST/2009/FRA- 1.244.775 Euro

7. 2010 EC JLS/2009-2010/D4/018-
606.896 Euro

8. 2010 European Commission, DG JUST 2010- 606.896 Euro

9. 2010 European Commission, DG EMPL 2010- 299.999 Euro

10. 2011 European Commission, DG JUST 2011- 277.267 Euro

11. 2012 European Commission, DG JUST 2012-2013- 200.030 Euro

12. Last grant awarded to DIHR in 2013 is available at http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/548/r...

Contracts concluded with DIHR by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), where currently Mr Kjaerum serves as Director, are available here:
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/742/r...
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/742/r...
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/funda...

Mr Kjaerum declaration of conflict of interests is available here http://fra.europa.eu/en/about-fra/struct...
and the declaration of a member of in DIHR Governing board, also member in FRA management board is available here http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files...

Two Parliamentary Questions to European Commission and related Answers by Madame vice-president Reding are available here
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getD...
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getD...

Reports of Danish authorities :
http://um.dk/en/~/media/UM/English-site/...

http://um.dk/en/~/media/UM/English-site/...

Yours faithfully,

Kurt Weiss

Dear Justice (JUST),

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Justice (JUST)'s handling of my FOI request '“Personal” correspondence of European Commision staff (Mr Paul Nemitz) on financial irregularities'.

I would like to remind DG Justice of European Commission about my request to access documents.

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

Yours faithfully,

Kurt Weiss

Kurt Weiss a laissé une remarque ()

DG Justice replied to my Request via email.

Here is the response 26/11/2013:

"Dear Mr Weiss,

Thank you for your email of 1 November 2013 addressed to Ms Francoise Le Bail who has asked me to reply to you.

You have requested access to the following :

1. The entire correspondence or transcription of phone logs of Mr Kjaerum with Mr Paul Nemitz and the other members of FRA Management Board, related to financial irregularities at DIHR.

2. Documents referring to actions initiated by Mr Paul Nemitz for transmitting the information from Morten Kjaerum to Chair or Executive Board of Management Board of FRA.

3. Any documents, notes, phone logs of European Commission (Mr Paul Nemitz or other EC officials) with Danish Audit body and / or Foreign Affair Minister or Mr Christian Friis Bach, the Development Minister.

4. All documents showing official position of European Commission and representatives of European Commission in FRA Management Board, in relation to DIHR financial irregularities and their impact on the EU budget.

Following your request, we have carried out a check in our archives and we could find no correspondence that is relevant in relation to the request for access to documents that is being made. None of the contacts, documents or correspondence to which you refer have taken place. Therefore we have no documents to provide you with.

In addition, you requested access to "the final audit reports by Danish Ministry of Development and Danish audit body, in case European Commission is in possession of these audit reports." I would like to inform you that we do not have these documents in the Commission.

Yours faithfully,

--------------------------------
Head of Unit
JUST.C.1 Fundamental rights and rights of the child
Directorate General Justice
European Commission "