In this post we will be looking at a recent Spanish case seen in the Social Court of Valencia on the 1st July 2013 (n. º 15, 238/2013, appeal 376/2012). It involves the responsibility of FOGASA, a national wages guarantee fund, and the question ofadministrative silence; a mechanism that allows an application to a public body to be either implicitly accepted or rejected if there is no reply within a certain time.
The case we are looking at deals with a challenge to an administrative decision of FOGASA that expressly rejected compensation sought by the two claimants.
The Social Court of Valencia found that FOGASA has breached a provision in article 43.3 a) of the LPA; the obligation to give an express decision. According to the judgment in question this obligation to give an express decision is subject to limitations. The time that FOGASA actually has to resolve applications is in fact 3 months. The judge interpreted that administrative silence in this case must be considered positive, which means that an application will be approved if not expressly declared otherwise within 3 months.
In this case the applications were submitted in March 2011 and an express decision was not made until 10 months later. Therefore it can be determined that if FOGASA does not provide an express response, within 3 months following a submission of an application, then this should be taken with positive effect. Essentially, the application would be automatically approved.