On 05 October 2020, German Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Martin Schirdewan of the Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left tabled a written parliamentary question to the European Commission.
MEP Schirdewan asked the Commission “did it conclude any consultancy contracts with external consultants between 01 May 2020 and 31 August 2020?” and “if so, with whom and for what amount?”
In ending, MEP Schirdewan enquired “what consultancies, in detail, were provided?” and “under what area of competence of the Commission, were they commissioned?”
On 09 December, Budget and Administration Commissioner Johannes Hahn responded on behalf of the European Commission and reported that “at this stage, it is not possible to reply in detail to the question whether the Commission concluded any consultancy contracts with external consultants between 01 May 2020 and 31 August 2020”.
Commissioner Hahn stated that “the contract category information (e.g., consultancy) becomes available through contract registration in the central accounting IT-system” and “contract registration is mandatory when proceeding to the first payment, which can occur several months after the contract has been concluded”. He further clarified that “to ensure the correctness and completeness of contracts, the Commission proceeds to data quality verifications before publishing beneficiaries and related contracts on the Financial Transparency System website (FTS database)”.
Commissioner Hahn explained that “the publication of 2020 data on the FTS website is foreseen by June 2021 and contracts related to consultancy (name of the contractor and amount) will then become publicly available”.
Finally, he underlined that “information on consultancy contracts for the financial years 2018 and 2019 was provided in replies to the written questions E-002859/2019 and E-001185/2020”.
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