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Second Chamber receives report on governance

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE The office of the auditor-general of the Netherlands reports that the Dutch government spends billions of euros annually without any idea if the funds are meeting the intended objective. Many provisions such as subsidies, social benefits and tax breaks are not being evaluated. When evaluations do take place, the effectiveness of the expenditures are not checked. In 2009 the government allowed 34 billion euros in subsidies and tax breaks, less then one third checked for effectiveness. The auditors-general also noted that the recent review of government expenditures, with the object of identifying areas where cuts could be made, failed to include one third of all subsidies in this exercise. The auditors-general recommended that the next cabinet, when it considers cutbacks in spending, also includes this finding in its considerations. The report, which was sent to the Second Chamber, also notes that the outgoing cabinet increasingly was failing its own targets. It also noted that the government, for the most part was well-run, but that improvement ought to be made at the departments of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Social Affairs and at Health. Defense was singled out for lack of sufficient control of its weaponry and ammunition inventory in Afghanistan.