Back in May of this year, I wrote a blog post titled “The schizophrenic Council, Part 2“, and among other things I remarked regarding the delay of a freedom of information request I had sent to the EU Council (highlights changed):
“On 18 May, the exact deadline for the 15 working days limit given by the [access to EU documents] regulation, the Council Secretariat sent me a letter (email) telling me that “[d]ue to exceptional constraints in the timetable for meetings of the various Council bodies involved” they needed 15 days more […].
However, given that the Working Party on Information [the body responsible for access to docs requests] meets only every two weeks, this was not an exceptional case but one that is simply due to bad organisation of how they deal with confirmatory applications.”
Now, recently, one the agenda of the meeting of the Working Party on Information of 16 September 2011 I saw that the EU Ombudsman had started an own-initiative inquiry (PDF; see also on the Ombudsman website) at the end of June.
In his inquiry, the Ombudsman finds that most confirmatory applications over the last years have been delayed in the Council and thus wants to know more in detail why this is the case, implicitly questioning the procedures as I have done.
The Ombudsman in his letter boldly asks to get a reply by the end of August. As his inquiry was only on the agenda for the first time on 16 September, it doesn’t seem the Council was willing to spend the summer with this issue.
So far, I can’t find an answer or a draft answer by the Council, it will be interesting to see what they come up with…