Private trips by Shula Rigsmann, former NPO board chairwoman and now a Alderman in Amsterdam, with then-Foreign Minister Sander Dekker (Media) and a senior official from the ministry, do not conflict with the rules.
According to Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science, D66), the Ministers’ Handbook, the so-called Blue Book, does not contain “specific rules” about private relations.
VVD member Dekker went in 2017, when he was in charge of public broadcasting as an outgoing Minister of State, On vacation to Israel with Rijxman and their partners. a statement Media podcast From BNR† Rijxman was then Chairman of the NPO Board of Directors.
“You would expect him to walk away from the organization that is giving him millions of subsidies,” said Martin Bosma, an MP for the PVV party. SP Peter Kwint thinks he is “just stupid”. The D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma believes the Blue Book needs an update. “You can’t supervise and then go on vacation together.” VVD MP Pim van Strien also admitted that “the photography is poor”.
But Dijgraf declined to give an opinion on Decker’s holiday. It is a difficult and delicate decision that rests with individual ministers.” He wants to give (former) ministers confidence that the assessment will be done in the right way.
The “principle” also applies to civil servants that they are “good at separating work and private life”. ‘They swear or promise to do so, too,’ said Jegraf. The 63-page Code of Integrity for civil servants does not prohibit contact with business partners. When in doubt, Dejgraf said, the employee can consult with the manager or confidential advisor.
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Dijgraf’s top official, Marjan Hammersma, does not appear to have done so when she booked a hotel room in Duqm with Rigsmann in August last year. PVV’er Bosma described the outing, which was also revealed by BNR, as “network corruption”. “The State and the Broadcaster are feeding in a hotel bed.”
This overnight stay became infamous because Hammersma had a secret conversation a year ago with a whistleblower who wanted to discuss mysterious salary constructions, through which the nonprofit would try to circumvent the salary cap for broadcasters. After the conversation, the whistleblower hadn’t heard anything from the senior official. The whistleblower did not know Hammersma was close to Rijxman.
Chula Rigsman She said in a statement that she has known Hammersma since she worked for IDTV production company from 2001 to 2011. During the time she was ill, we became friendly. We have always maintained a separation between work and private life.”
Rijxman heard about the whistleblower from the media. “I have not discussed this with Hammersma.” Rijxman says he reported the “friendly bond”. “At that time, I reported to Tjibbe Joustra, Chairman of the NPO’s Supervisory Board.”
The media announced yesterday wide investigation of conflict of interest in the non-profit organization. Rijxman states that she did not act in violation of the NPO rules. ,,I have rule of law of the NPO not violated.” Not even, she says, when she went on a trip with Decker. “Should we then require every person in public office to keep all his acquaintances and friends in a public record?”
Central government audit organ, cabinet internal auditor, too I’m doing a search to the situation surrounding the whistleblower. That study should be completed by mid-July. This is why the House of Representatives wants to discuss again with Dijkgraaf and Foreign Minister Gunay Uslu (Media, D66) after the recess.
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