9 sept. 2011
Extracting fraud investigation documents from the OLAF, Tillack, 943/2007/PB
The complainant in case 943/2007/PB requested the OLAF to disclose the name of the OLAF official who signed the letter to the German prosecution, as well as the letter itself, to disclose the instructions to the relevant OLAF staff who negotiated starting the “swift action” against journalist Tillack with the Hamburg prosecution, as well as to disclose other documents on possible fraud within the European Commission.
The complainant filed the same request twice but the OLAF ignored it. Only after filing a complaint to the European Ombudsman the OLAF disclosed the name of its official who initiated the persecution of the journalist (§ 40), as well as provided a partial access to the documents.
The Ombudsman explained that the institution must give valid reasons enabling the applicant to decide whether the non-disclosure is grounded, and not limit itself with a simple statement that “it carried out a concrete and specific examination” (§ 58).