Below is the letter from the European Ombudsman acknowledging our complaint:
Dear Sir/Dear Madam,
Thank you for your complaint to the European Ombudsman, which has been received and registered.
Below, please find an information note concerning the treatment of your complaint and the rules governing the protection of personal data which the Ombudsman applies when dealing with complaints.
Your complaint will first be examined to determine if it falls within the Ombudsman’s mandate. If it does not, I shall inform you accordingly. If it does, the Ombudsman will write to inform you whether she finds grounds for an inquiry and, if so, what steps she has taken in this respect. You will then also be informed of the name of the person who is handling your complaint in the Ombudsman’s Office.
Please note that we will normally not send you acknowledgements of receipts in response to additional correspondence you may wish to address to the Ombudsman concerning your complaint.
Please also note that we intend to communicate with you using the e-mail address you provided in your complaint, in order to reduce our paper consumption and to ensure a rapid sending of documents.
I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that complaints submitted to the Ombudsman do not affect time limits for appeals in any administrative or judicial proceedings (Article 2(6) of the Statute of the European Ombudsman).
If you have any further questions at this stage, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Head of the Registry
What are the first steps?
Your complaint will first be examined to determine if it falls within the Ombudsman’s mandate. If it does not, the Registry will inform you accordingly. If another institution could deal with your case, and you have already indicated that you consent to your complaint being transferred, the Registry may transfer your complaint to the appropriate body.
If your complaint falls within the Ombudsman’s mandate, the Ombudsman will examine whether it meets the applicable admissibility conditions. You will normally be informed of these findings within one month.
If your complaint is admissible, the Ombudsman will then decide whether to open an inquiry. In some cases, she finds that there are insufficient grounds for opening an inquiry. This is normally the case, for instance, when the complainant has also turned to the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament about the same matter.
What if the Ombudsman opens an inquiry into my complaint?
If the Ombudsman considers that an inquiry is needed, she will inform you of the name and telephone number of the case handler dealing with the inquiry. There are a certain number of possibilities at the Ombudsman’s disposal if she decides to open an inquiry:
If the Ombudsman considers that she needs further information from you, she can invite you to submit clarifications. The same approach can be used if the Ombudsman has doubts whether the facts reported by you indicate that maladministration has occurred. Depending on your clarifications, the Ombudsman may then decide to close the case, or, if she finds that the institution in question should explain its position on your complaint, she can ask it to submit an opinion. If she decides to close the case, she will inform you of the reasons for her decision. In some of these cases, she may find it appropriate to inform the institution complained against of her decision. She will do so in an anonymised form, which means that your name or other personal data will not be revealed.
The Ombudsman may also decide to carry out an inspection o