Saturday , April 1 2023

Dutch Government bookkeeping is a mess

The Algemeen Dagblad writes that the government’s bookkeeping is a mess, with millions of euros paid out against the rules or unclearly accounted for.

The paper basis its claims on documents obtained under the freedom of information law which the paper had analysed by accountants and professors.
According to the documents, € 472 m was wrongly paid last year to organisations, companies and private individuals. For a further € 2 bn it is unclear if the payments were justified or not.

The irregularities range from the omission of a paragraph in the accounts to money that is wasted. For instance, the education ministry paid out €91m last year ‘by mistake’, the paper says.

The bookkeeping is such a mess that for €2bn in payments it is unclear whether the money was well spent or not. The social affairs ministry is the worst offender. Of its payments to local councils, €1.1bn is not clearly accounted for.

A finance ministry spokesman told the AD that where the €472m was concerned there is ‘insufficient clarity about the ligitimacy of its use’. However, he did not have the impression given that the government’s bookkeeping is not up to scratch.

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