CONFLICT OF INTEREST : REVOLVING DOORS: OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATES.

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O'Reilly points out flaws in the Commission's handling of this phenomenon

For over a year, the services of European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly have been investigating how the European Commission handles conflicts of interest. O'Reilly would like to clarify certain aspects of the practice known as 'revolving doors', when civil servants go from the public to the private sector, and vice versa, or even prepare themselves for recruitment in the private sector.

According to the ombudsman, it is more than a question of ethics. Apart from putting the institutions' image at risk, there are legal issues which also apply, such as whether companies feel that commercial secrets have been revealed when a commissioner or civil servant leaves.

An institution would never tolerate the theft of commercially sensitive files or intrusion on a PC. If the issue of revolving doors were seen from this perspective, perhaps more effort would be made to ensure that rules were applied, O'Reilly pointed out to the members of the...

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