Sophie Bertin

La demande a été rejetée par Ressources humaines et sécurité.

Dear Human Resources and Security (HR),

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting all documents which relate to any applications made under the Staff Regulations for authorisation for post-employment activities by Sophie Bertin, including at Covington & Burling as detailed here: https://www.cov.com/en/news-and-insights... In particular, I request a note of all Ms Bertin's job titles at the Commission including dates held; copies of any application(s) that she has made under the Staff Regulations to undertake a new professional activity; and all documents (correspondence, emails, meeting notes etc) related to the authorisation of the new role or roles.

Yours faithfully,

Vicky Cann
CEO
Rue d'Edimbourg 26
Brx 1050

Ressources humaines et sécurité

1 Attachment

 

Dear Madam,

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 04/05/2016.  We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents, which was registered on
10/05/2016 under reference number GestDem 2016/2557.

 

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
01/06/2016. 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 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.

 

Yours faithfully,

HR ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

 

 

European Commission
Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security

[1]cid:image001.gif@01D0B997.511957C0
[2][email address]

 

 

References

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Ressources humaines et sécurité

Dear Ms Cann,
 
We would like to ask you for some clarifications in relation to your
e-mail dated 4 May 2016 in which you make a request for access to
documents, registered on 10 May 2016 under the above mentioned reference
number.
 
We would need more clarity on the type of post-employment activity your
request relates to by reference to the relevant articles of the Staff
Regulations.
 
We remain at your disposal should you have any questions.
Sincerely yours,
HR.E.3
 
 
 
 
 

Dear Human Resources and Security,

Presumably Ms Berin applied for permission under article 16 or sabbatical rules in the staff regulations, but I assume you are best placed to know that. I first emailed you on 4 May, and provided a link for further information at that time. I am disappointed that the Commission only replied to ask for more information on 23 May.

Yours faithfully,

Vicky Cann

EC ARES NOREPLY, Ressources humaines et sécurité

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

[4]Ares(2016)2735488 - Ares(2016) - Access to document request 2016/2557 -
Sophie Bertin - prolongation of deadline

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

Dear Ms Cann,

 

We refer to your e-mail dated 23 May 2016 in which you give us some
clarification regarding the request for access to documents registered
under the above mentioned reference number.

 

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, which expires on 13 June 2016.

 

As this request needs additional time for follow up, we have to extend the
deadline for further 15 working days in accordance with Article 7(3) of
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents.

 

The new time limit expires on 4 July 2016.

 

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

 

Yours faithfully,

 

HR.E.3

 

References

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4. http://www.cc.cec/Ares/ext/documentInfoD...

Ressources humaines et sécurité

3 Attachments

 
 
Dear Ms Cann,
 
Please find enclosed the reply to your request.
 
The official ARES version will be sent to you tomorrow.
 
Kind regards
Petra Gruener
HR.E Legal Affairs & Partnerships | HR.E.3 Ethics & Ombudsman
DG Human Resources and Security
 
SC11 03/024 | Rue de la Science 11, B-1000 Brussels
+32 2 29 84075 | [1][email address]
 
[2][IMG][3][IMG]
 
 
 

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EC ARES NOREPLY, Ressources humaines et sécurité

1 Attachment

Please find attached the advanced copy of the reply to your access to documents request. The original of the reply will be sent to you via post.

HR.E.3

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: This e-mail was automatically generated by the European Commission's central mail registration system.
Replies by e-mail must be addressed to the original sender SOUKA Irene (mailto:[email address]).
Remarque : Cet e-mail a été généré automatiquement par le système d'enregistrement central du courrier de la Commission européenne.
Toute réponse éventuelle par e-mail doit être adressée à l'expéditeur en personne, à savoir SOUKA Irene (mailto:[email address]).

Dear Human Resources and Security,

It is not clear to me why this request has been rejected when similar requests have at least been replied to with some information. Please could you clarify the unique situation pertaining to this request which has meant that it has been rejected in its entirety?

Yours faithfully,

Vicky Cann

EC ARES NOREPLY, Ressources humaines et sécurité

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

[4]Ares(2016)2919693 - Your message to HR ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS sent on June
15, 2016 8:57 AM - Freedom of Information request - Sophie Bertin

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

Dear Ms Cann,

I acknowledged the content of the above-mentioned message in which you
declare that it is not clear to you why your request (GESTDEM 2016/2557)
“has been rejected when similar requests have at least been replied to
with some information”. And in which you ask us “to clarify the unique
situation pertaining to this request which has meant that it has been
rejected in its entirety”.

Firstly, I deem it necessary recall that each request of access to
document is assessed on the basis of its own merit and of a thorough exam
of the documents concerned. In consequence, each demand is indeed unique
and assessed as such. In that sense the answer you received regarding Ms
Bertin was in line with all the answers you received in the context of
Regulation 1049/2001.

Secondly, based on the Commission’s obligation to ensure that the privacy
and the integrity of the EU staff member concerned, also in her
professional capacity, are correctly protected, and considering the
possibility to grant you full or partial access, it has been concluded
that both would equally undermine the protection of her personal data.
These are the terms of the answer to your request under Regulation
1049/2001.

 

Finally, you refer to the addition of information that the Commission may
provide in addition to its answer under Regulation 1049/2001, and which
was not present its answer to your request (GESTDEM 2016/2557). I recall
you that the public’s right of access to the documents of the institutions
cover only documents and not information in the wider meaning of the word.
It is also a fact that such information is not due if it is not included
in a pre-existing document. While the Commission remains committed to
apply the Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, nevertheless, in the
light of all the elements at its disposal, it concluded in this case that
such information was not to be added.

Yours sincerely,

HR.E.3

 

References

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1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D1CD57.27A468B0
2. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
3. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
4. http://www.cc.cec/Ares/ext/documentInfoD...

Dear Human Resources and Security,

I am writing to request a confirmatory application of Human Resources and Security's handling of my access to EU documents request 'Sophie Bertin' (GESTDEM 2016/2557). The institution should grant full access to the documents identified that would satisfy my request under Regulation 1049/2001.

On 4 May 2016, registered on 10 May 2016 and clarified on 23 May 2016, I requested "all documents which relate to any applications made under the Staff Regulations for authorisation for post-employment activities by Sophie Bertin, including at Covington & Burling as detailed here: https://www.cov.com/en/news-and-insights...

As well as, "a note of all Ms Bertin's job titles at the Commission including dates held; copies of any application(s) that she has made under the Staff Regulations to undertake a new professional activity; and all documents (correspondence, emails, meeting notes etc.) related to the authorisation of the new role or roles".

On 14 June 2016, I received a reply via email with a refusal to provide the information on the grounds that, "The documents you requested contain personal data relating to the past and present occupational activities of Ms Bertin. It is the Commission's obligation to ensure that the privacy and the integrity of the EU staff member concerned, also in her professional capacity, are correctly protected. This is why I consider that the exception foreseen in Article 4(l)(b) of Regulation No 1049/2001 applies.

While I have also considered the possibility of granting partial access on the basis of Article 4(6) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, have concluded that this would equally undermine the protection of personal data."

On the application of exception 4(1)(b), whilst the institution has applied an exception to access for reasons on personal data protection, it has not provided reasons that determine, as per EU case law (1) that the document would specifically and actually undermine the protected interest and (2) that the risk of the protected interest being undermined is reasonably foreseeable and not purely hypothetical. The institution must explain how granting access to the document could specifically and actually undermine the interest protected by the exception under Article 4(1)(b). The fact that a document concerns an interest protected by an exception (personal data) is not of itself sufficient to justify application of that exception (that privacy or integrity of the data subject is affected).

I also note that there is an express and legitimate reason to transfer the personal data. In this particular case, the Commission decision to permit Ms Bertin to work at Covington & Burling despite the fact that the law firm indicates that she will work on issues very closely associated with her work at the Commission (https://www.cov.com/en/news-and-insights...), suffices as an express and legitimate reason for public access and for the data to be transferred, because there is reasonable doubt as to whether the Commission has followed its own rules on revolving doors and tackling potential conflicts of interest. Access and transfer of the data will ensure there is public oversight on the implementation of EU institutions’ revolving doors and conflict of interest rules, and making it more accountable to the citizen, (as outlined in the purpose of Regulation 1049/2001).

It is also important that other fundamental rights such as freedom of expression be reconciled with the protection of personal data. To take account of the importance of the right of freedom of expression in every democratic society, it is necessary to interpret notions of freedom, such as journalism, broadly. Thus activities may be classified as “journalistic” if their sole object is the disclosure to the public of information, opinions or ideas, irrespective of the medium used to transmit them. Corporate Europe Observatory evidently is an organisation that conducts journalistic activities in disclosing information to the public about the conduct of the EU administration. There is a clear public interest in this case as explained earlier due to the apparent parallels between Ms Bertin’s former areas of work and the current areas she will be working in, in her new position in the private sector, indicating that granting of access be appropriate.

Regulation 1049/2001 outlines that "Openness enables citizens to participate more closely in the decision-making process and guarantees that the administration enjoys greater legitimacy and is more effective and more accountable to the citizen in a democratic system (…)" and that "the purpose of Regulation is to give the fullest possible effect to the right of public access to documents."

In this sense, if it can be determined that article 4(1)(b) can be legitimately applied to the information contained within the document requested, I ask that you reconsider the refusal to grant partial access and provide access to all the information requested in the documents that do not fall under the exception applied.

I take this opportunity to reiterate that I am submitting this confirmatory application with the view to being granted full access to the documents identified that would satisfy my request under Regulation 1049/2001. A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/soph...

Yours faithfully,

Vicky Cann

Ressources humaines et sécurité

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cann,

 

Thank you for your email dated 28/06/2016, by which you request, pursuant
to Regulation No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament,
Council and Commission documents, a review of the position taken by DG HR
in reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2016/2557.

 

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access
to documents which was registered on 29/06/2016 (Ares(2016)3047761).

 

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (20/07/2016). In
case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due
course.

 

Please be informed that the answer to your confirmatory application is a
formal Commission decision that will be notified to you by express
delivery. 

We kindly offer you the possibility to provide us a contact phone number
(by email to [email address]), so that the external delivery
service can contact you in case of absence.

 

Please note that the Commission will not use your phone number for any
other purpose than for informing the delivery service, and that it will
delete it immediately thereafter.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Carlos Remis
SG.B.4
Transparence
Berl. 05/315

 

Afficher les sections citées

Ressources humaines et sécurité

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Cann,

 

Please find attached a note for your attention regarding your confirmatory
application GestDem 2016/2557.

 

Best regards,

 

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS (NL)

[1]cid:image002.jpg@01CFC082.A6D14DD0
European Commission
Secretariat General
B4 – Transparency

 

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Ressources humaines et sécurité

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Cann,
 
Please find attached an advance information copy of the confirmatory
decision taken on your requests for access to documents registered under
reference GESTDEM 2016/2557, adopted on 01/08/2016 in the above-mentioned
case.
Please note that the Secretariat General of the European Commission will
proceed with the formal notification of the decision in the coming days.
 
This advance copy is solely sent for your information and is not the
formal notification of the confirmatory decision.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
BLURIOT-PUEBLA Madeleine
Cellule 'Accès aux documents'
 
European Commission
SG/B/4 - Transparence
BERL 05/315
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
+32 2 296 09 97
[1][email address]
 
 

References

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