Madrid, 20 December 2016 – Access Info Europe has welcomed the European Ombudsman’s recommendation that the European Commission systematically obtain consent to publish the names of public officials charged with decision-making on public procurement prior to their appointment.
The Ombudsman’s proposal follows a complaint submitted by Access Info after the European Commission refused to grant full public access to evaluation documents concerning a public procurement process financed by the EU in Serbia.
The suggestion for improvement, which also considers that such consent should be a condition of appointment, stated, “In order effectively to guarantee transparency and maintain public trust in the EU administration, it would constitute good administrative practice if, prior to appointing persons to a procurement evaluation committee, the Commission were to systematically obtain their consent to the disclosure of their names. Such disclosure at the conclusion of the evaluation process should be considered a condition of appointment.”
Whilst the outcome of the complaint found no legal obligation to require full disclosure of the documents requested, Access Info welcomed the suggestion to improve good administrative practice in order to guarantee transparency and maintain public trust in the EU administration.
“Transparency over who takes decisions as part of EU procurement processes is essential in ensuring citizen trust in the spending of public funds,” stated Andreas Pavlou of Access Info Europe.
“Citizens and public watchdogs must be able to access this information to hold decision makers accountable and reduce the opportunities for corruption,” added Pavlou.
The case revolved around a controversial procurement process for a water sewage plant in Serbia. Further information can be found here.
Access Info Europe supports greater transparency of public procurement processes in line with the Open Contracting Global Principles: http://www.open-contracting.org/get-started/global-principles/
For more information, please contact:
Andreas Pavlou | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558