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Friday, October 22, 2021

Ombudsman takes aim at Ursula von der Leyen’s texts with Pfizer CEO – POLITICO

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Ecu Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly needs to grasp extra about Ecu Fee President Ursula von der Leyen’s textual content messages with a pharmaceutical corporate leader. 

In April, the New York Occasions reported von der Leyen had exchanged calls and texts with Pfizer Leader Government Albert Bourla. 

But if a request for get admission to to the messages used to be submitted, the Fee mentioned it had no listing of them. Textual content messages, the Berlaymont argued, are normally “short-lived” and in concept excluded from its record-keeping. 

The Fee’s refusal to grant get admission to to the texts sparked a grievance to the ombudsman, who has now taken up the problem. 

The transfer comes at a time of rising debate in some EU capitals about whether or not there may be enough duty surrounding using textual content messages through senior officers and politicians when wearing out reputable trade. Von der Leyen herself used to be criticized in 2019 after revelations that a cell phone thought to be key proof in a contracting scandal on the German protection ministry, which she used to steer, used to be cleaned.

In a letter to the Fee president, printed on Friday, O’Reilly mentioned it’s “important” for her inquiry staff to fulfill with officers and get a proof of the Fee’s “coverage on maintaining data of textual content messages and the way this coverage is applied in apply.” 

The ombudsman mentioned her staff can even search a proof from the Fee on “whether or not, and if this is the case how and the place, it looked for conceivable textual content messages falling beneath the complainant’s request.”

O’Reilly has already introduced a broader initiative on texts, pronouncing in June that she is having a look into how EU establishments and companies listing textual content and speedy messages, with the purpose of figuring out just right practices.

“The EU management, like every other public management, is an increasing number of the usage of method of contemporary digital verbal exchange in its day by day paintings,” the ombudsman mentioned in a letter to Ecu establishments and companies over the summer time. 

“The COVID-19 disaster, and the similar teleworking preparations, have additional larger their use,” she famous, including that “whilst it’s neither possible nor fascinating for body of workers individuals to listing all textual content and speedy messages despatched or gained of their skilled capability, the EU management is needed through EU legislation to attract up and retain documentation concerning its actions, so far as conceivable and in a non-arbitrary and predictable method.” 

“The verdict to listing a definite piece of knowledge within the management’s report control gadget will have to, in step with EU legislation, no longer be dependent at the medium — be it a letter, an e mail, a textual content or speedy message — however on its content material,” she mentioned.  


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