Ombudsman's draft recommendation on Commission's handling of R&D award

June 27, 2003

Strasbourg, 26 June 2003

Draft recommendation to the European Commission in complaint 1878/2002/GG. Strasbourg, 18 June 2003

The complainant, a small company from the UK, was the co-ordinator of a project for the elaboration of a safety device designed to prevent trucks from rolling over and thus to save lives. This project was the subject-matter of an Exploratory Award contract (G3ST-CT-2001-00329) with the European Commission aimed at preparing a CRAFT proposal within the framework of the specific research and technological development programme "Competitive and Sustainable Growth"...

THE DECISION

... 2.8 The Ombudsman's conclusion, therefore, is that by failing to grant the complainant a reasonable amount of time in order to submit its proposal for the pre-eligibility check it had offered to carry out, the Commission committed maladministration...

3 The complainant's claims

3.1 The complainant claimed that the Commission should reimburse its expenses with regard to the Exploratory Award (29 920 €).

3.2 The Commission did not comment on this claim.

3.3 In the light of his finding that the Commission has committed maladministration in the present case, the Ombudsman considers that it would be appropriate for the Commission to consider compensating the complainant, to the extent that it has suffered loss as a result of the maladministration identified in paragraph 2.8 above.

4 Conclusion

In view of the above, the Ombudsman makes the following draft recommendation to the Commission, in accordance with Article 3 (6) of the Statute of the Ombudsman:

The Commission should consider compensating the complainant, to the extent that it has suffered loss as a result of the maladministration identified in paragraph 2.8 above.

The Commission and the complainant will be informed of this draft recommendation. In accordance with Article 3 (6) of the Statute of the Ombudsman, the Commission shall send a detailed opinion by 30 September 2003. The detailed opinion could consist of the acceptance of the Ombudsman's decision and a description of the measures taken to implement the draft recommendation.

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