The European Ombudsman (“the Ombudsman”) published a decision in a case concerning the Commission’s handling of a public procurement infringement complaint against Spanish authorities. The complaint was submitted in 2006 and concerned alleged irregularities in the public procurement procedure relating to the construction of a port in A Coruña, Spain (“Port”). The complainant had, on several occasions, requested information about the status of the complaint and had provided updated information to the Commission. The Commission had repeatedly stated that the complaint was particularly complex and that it would keep the complainant duly informed about the investigation. Since the Commission did not update the complainant, he submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman in January 2012. In April 2012, the Directorate-General for Regional Policy, to which the Commission had assigned the case, informed the complainant that it had found no indication of Spain breaching EU law. The investigation was closed on 27 September 2012. On 26 August 2013, the Ombudsman closed its investigation and gave a decision concluding that the Commission had provided the complainant with a due statement of reasons for its decision to close the infringement complaint. However, the Ombudsman criticized the length of the investigation. It took the Commission six and a half years to reach the conclusion that there had been no breach of EU law in the case at hand. According to the Ombudsman, no matter how complex the infringement case may have been, such a long period cannot be considered reasonable within the meaning of Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Ombudsman recalled that when the Commission deals with infringement complaints, the Commission is under procedural obligations to investigate a complaint with a view to arriving at a decision to issue a formal notice or to close the case within no more than one year of the date of registration of the complaint. Furthermore, the Ombudsman noted that the Commission failed to inform the complainant in a timely manner of the steps taken during the investigation, and began doing so only after the Ombudsman’s intervention which amounted to maladministration. Source: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing his inquiry into complaint 47/2012/AN against the European Commission