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Dacian C. Dragos and Bogdana Neamtu

The proliferation of new legal institutions and strategies for solving administrative disputes (operating either complementary or as an alternative to the court system) are currently modifying the relationship between law and administration. These new tools are competing with the traditional models of dispute resolution (mainly courts) by employing different methods. One of these developments can be seen in the rise and success of ombudsmanship. The European Ombudsman (EO) has developed norms of a non-legal character for the assessment of the conduct of the administration, contributing to the growth of a body of ethical norms applied by public administration – ombudsprudence.  The EO has been from the beginning one of the promoters of good administration in the EU. As part of the institution’s endeavours, transparency and participation hold an important place. The chapter tries to assess the ombudsprudence of the office in recent years in regard to the principles of good governance relating to transparency and participation. The empirical research is based on an analysis of a sample of the Ombudsman’s decisions from 2010 to 2015. It analyses the cases relating to access to information investigated by the EO, the good administration norms developed by the institution in the process thereof, and how this jurisprudence relates to the legal framework of the EU in this field, as well as to the jurisprudence of the CJEU. The ultimate aim of the chapter is to determine whether the institution has brought a clear contribution to the development of the transparency principle beyond the existing legal texts.

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Bogdana Neamtu and Dacian C. Dragos

Transparency of public procurement in Romania cannot be understood outside the overall legal context. At first, transparency was among the most desired outcomes of the democratization process started in the early 1990s. In time, though, the new administration has adapted to the legal framework and the transparency was trumped again and the Romanian authorities are nowadays characterized as ‘opaque’. The high stakes of public procurement contracts are enhancing the debate over how much transparency and how much secrecy public procurement needs in order to be effective. The chapter tells a story of mocked transparency and formal implementation of legal rules, abusive use of ‘commercial secret’ exemptions, as the transparency of public procurement is in the centre of constant litigation.