JUDGMENT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

(Third Chamber)

28 October 2010

Case F-6/09

Soukaïna Fares

v

European Commission

(Civil service — Contract staff — Classification in grade — Account taken of professional experience)

Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Ms Fares, a member of the Commission’s contract staff, essentially seeks annulment of the decision of the contracting authority classifying her at grade 8 of function group III for contract staff, in so far as that decision follows from her contract as a member of the contract staff of 28 March 2008.

Held: The decision of the Commission by which the applicant was classified at grade 8 of function group III for contract staff is annulled, in so far as that decision follows from the applicant’s contract as a member of the contract staff of 28 March 2008. The Commission is ordered to pay all of the costs.

Summary

1.      Officials — Contract staff — Recruitment — Classification in grade — Account taken of professional experience — Contracting authority’s discretion — Judicial review — Limits

(Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, Art. 86(1))

2.      Officials — Contract staff — Recruitment — Classification in grade — Account taken of professional experience

(Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, Art. 86(1); general implementing provisions of the Commission, Art. 7(3))

1.      An institution’s exercise of its wide discretion as regards recognition of professional experience must be in compliance with all the relevant provisions and must be free of any manifest error of assessment. In that context, review by the Union judicature must be confined to ascertaining whether the contracting authority committed an error in law and whether it exercised its discretion in a manifestly incorrect manner.

(see paras 39-40)

2.      In order to ascertain whether professional experience previously acquired by a member of the contract staff may be recognised for the purpose of his classification in grade, Article 7(3) of the general implementing provisions relating to the procedures governing the engagement and employment of contract staff at the Commission entails not just verification of the job description of the post previously occupied by the contract staff member, but also, where appropriate, an examination of the specific tasks performed by the staff member in that post, in order to determine the level of skills required for the tasks actually carried out. In other words, while, in practice, it is sufficient, in most cases, to determine on the basis of a job description whether professional experience can be taken into account for the classification of a member of the contract staff, the Commission cannot refuse to examine the actual nature of the tasks previously carried out by the person concerned, where he produces plausible evidence indicating that the tasks he performed in practice did not correspond to the formal job description for his post.

(see para. 63)