When the European Commission’s Representation office in Berlin went out to tender for services to be provided for its public information desk, a candidate submitted a proposal which was subsequently rejected. She considered that the selection criteria were unfair and that there was an element of favouritism as the successful applicant was a former employee of the Representation office. The candidate made a complaint to the European Ombudsman alleging maladministration. Following an inquiry, the Ombudsman issued a decision in which he found that there had been maladministration in the use of unduly restrictive educational selection requirements and the manner in which the Berlin Representation had dealt with the complainant’s request for information. The Ombudsman also suggested that the Commission consider the apparent lack of rules and practices regarding possible conflicts of interest in its tender procedures.