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One Million, Five Millions, What Difference does it make in the Endless Comedy of Errors?

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One Million, Five Millions, What Difference does it make in the Endless Comedy of Errors?

Sysper2 is the Human Resource Management information system of the European Commission. It is based on the ideas put forward in the 2001 White Paper on Administrative Reform. The implementation costs have been put at one to five million euros with a similar maintenance expenses.

In an earlier tract we showed that it was not possible to enter SYSPER2 with browsers other than Microsoft's. The situation has improved somewhat in the meantime. Now it is possible to enter the system via Firefox and Opera browsers. However, not all operations can be performed with them.

By the way, MIPS the application managing Missions suffers a similar problem. One user writes in "Commission en direct, 23.4-29.4.2010" that he is unable to use MIPS using Firefox.

Recently we discovered that European Commission has standardized itself on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE). And now we know that SYSPER2 is not Open Source standard compliant. This is despite the fact that European Commissioner Neelie Kroes has pledged to use open-standard software.

In spite of this, the Official in charge of the project states: “…the EC is standardized on Internet Explorer…” and in another part states: “…Why don't we officially support all browsers, then? It's simply a cost issue…”

Yet he fails to see that if the design from the start had been based on World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Standards, then migrating to other Browsers would have been very cheap.

In addition, Internet Explorer is not the most secure Browser on the Planet! Practically every week, new security gaps are found, in the IE. (references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Should not the Commission's Security department be concerned about this! ? !

Despite many objections, SYSPER2 came into being and gradually replaced the paper based filing system of personnel files of DG Admin (now DG HR). (Reference:

There have been problems.

For example, a Colleague has reported to us that his CDR auto-evaluations once disappeared from SYSPER2 and had to be reconstituted.

In another case even the Court of Auditors has complained about salary payment errors in SYSPER2 (see section 11.17 of the report).

Recently, some Greek colleagues reported that the automatic tax form notification has not been correctly copied into the SYSPER2 and as a result some have had problems with Greek authorities due to the wrong wording of the forms.

To complicate matters further, SYSPER2 has very recently incorporated the Lisbon Treaty protocol and hence Article 14 has now become Article 13.

Furthermore, the text of Article 14 (now article 13 due to the Treaty change) was not the same as the original Protocol and allowed a double interpretation in the case of the spouse's tax domicile while the Protocol makes a very clear distinction.
The error appeared in the following sentence taken from art.14 of the Protocol in the English language :-
<<  This provision shall also apply to a spouse, to the extent that the latter is not separately engaged in a gainful occupation, and to children dependent on and in the care of the persons referred to in this Article. >>
The HRM Greek text allows for two interpretations :- 
(a) a spouse having the same gainful occupation or
(b) a spouse being separately engaged in a gainful occupation
That left Greek tax authorities quite a choice of interpretation.

(1) Greek version of Protocol article 14
.......Η διάταξη αυτή εφαρμόζεται ομοίως και για τον ή τη σύζυγο στο μέτρο που αυτός ή αυτή δεν ασκεί ιδίαν επαγγελματική δραστηριότητα, καθώς και για τα τέκνα των οποίων έχουν την επιμέλεια και τα οποία συντηρούνται από τα πρόσωπα που αναφέρονται στο παρόν άρθρο.......

(2) Administrative certificate (HRM)  Domicile for tax purposes -art.14

The latest mishap and by far one of the most serious is related to change of name of colleagues without due reason by SYSPER2 system. Many were contacted by email that their name has changed and they need to regularize the situation. Later the colleagues concerned each received an email letting them know that this was an error caused by SYSPER2. (reference: Commission en direct 16.04-22.04.2010, votre courrier, "Leave my name alone - I'm Spanish")

Nevertheless, attempting to correct one's name proved difficult. Several emails had to be sent to the DG HR to convince them of their mistake.

To be fair, this system has not had its full contents lost yet as was the case in the UK.

In November 2007, UK Chancellor Alistair Darling had to inform the British Parliament why the details of all Child Benefit recipients across the UK had been lost. These were records for 25 million individuals and 7.25 million families which were lost due to extremely serious failure on the part of HMRC to protect sensitive personal data entrusted to it in breach of its own guidelines.

And that was only one of 160 cases reported since November 2007 (see report).


S olidarity with those who work for their money
I ndependence from those who don't
D emocracy in all decisions taken by groups of sane, adult humans

SID - Solidarity, Independence, Democracy is an independent Trade Union of all EU Institutions employees (Je souhaite adhérer au SID…)

Created by: admin last modification: Tuesday 04 of May, 2010 [11:22:49 UTC] by admin

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