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Archive for December, 2007|Monthly archive page

EU watchdog criticises Commission and comments on access to databases

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2007 at 12:07 pm
30/12 2007 on / via

 EU: Watchdog criticises Commission and comments on access to databases

Wobsite’s Brigitte Alfter gets support by EU-Ombudsman, who criticises the European Commission for maladministration. The Commission failed to give a thorough explanation, after having denied access to documents the distribution of farmsubsidies. Also he comments on the principal question of access to databases.

Two and a half years ago Brigitte Alfter asked the European Commission for access to documents that tell, who receives the EU farmsubsidies. After the Commission’s rejection of the application, the EU’s own watchdog, the European Ombudsman, dealt with the case.
 The main point of the disagreement between Brigitte Alfter and the Commission was access to information held in a database. The Commission did not give a “valid and thorough explanation” for rejecting access to the information, which is to be considered “a case of maladministration”, he states in his recent answer.
The question is of principal character, the ombudsman states. However he choses not to address the question in the current case, instead he refers it to the ongoing reform of the EU’s wob regulation, 1049/01.
 “The most cost-effective approach is to take transparency into account when designing new information systems for management purposes, so that, as far as possible, the same system can meet both the internal requirements of management and the external requirements of transparency,” the ombudsman stated in his comment to the Commission’s greenpaper on the reform earlier in 2007, and he suggests to establish a “general obligation to the institutions to take the needs of transparency into account in the design and operation of databases.”
On the basis of the current case the ombudsman now considers contacting the national ombudsmen to gain an overview over best practice in handling access to information held in databases.
Brigitte Alfter
Se all documents of the case in the right  column.