Turmoil within Dutch Security Service: report
There is unrest and displeasure among the staff of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) over budget cuts and the departure of a number of colleagues, the Volkskrant reports based on anonymous sources. A number of AIVD employees recently had to leave the service after their "Declaration of No Objection" was withdrawn. Former AIVD employee Kees-Jan Dellebeke told NRC Handelsblad on Saturday that wrong political decisions and mistakes by the service management has given rise to an "explosive situation" in the service. According to him, employees reacted furiously when the AIVD managers had a discussion about these departures on the service's intranet. The AIVD sources denies that there is an explosive situation, but admits that there is some unrest. They mostly blame the budget cuts the government imposed in 2012 for the unrest. In 2012 the AIVD lost a third of its budget, forcing a number of experienced people to leave the service. The cut backs were quickly reversed in 2013 when the problem around jihadists came to light, but the impact of the cuts were long felt. According to Dellebeke, the recent departures involved 5 people, who were sent away for various reasons including divorce and mortgage debt. The AIVD sources told the newspaper that the service had to catch up with the repeat testing, which is done once every five years but had fallen somewhat behind. As a result many people were tested in a short period of time, which led to the dismissal of several employees. The sources state that dismissal is only done after extensive research and with good cause, such as a relationship with someone abroad. Mortgage debt is never a reason for dismissal, the sources told the newspaper. The CDA, D66 and the group Bontes/Van Klaveren want answers from Minister Ronald Plaster (Home Affairs, PvdA) on this matter during the question time in the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) tomorrow.