Report: All gov’t officials contributed to Amsterdam financial chaos
All Amsterdam government officials failed in addressing the disorder in the municipality's finances. This includes, but is not limited to, current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher, who was Finance alderman in the city between 2006 and 2012, according to a committee of inquiry that investigated the municipality's finances between 2002 and 2014, Het Parool reports. The report, which was handed to Mayor Eberhard van der Laan on Monday, is harsh on both the city council and the mayor and aldermen, stating that they "failed to bring the financial function to order". Asscher, in particular, gets a lot of the blame, according to Het Parool. The report states that he made quite a few attempts to get the finances under control, "but the direction and results of these initiatives were insufficient". The committee also found it "remarkable" that Asscher did not do more end 2008 to stop the city council abolishing the "Service House Finances", one of the projects intended to get better grip on the financial management. The report also states that Asscher had insufficient contact with the director of service tax. "Alderman Asscher informed him insufficiently about recurring problems in the administrative organization", according to the report. Other finance aldermen in the investigated period also gave the problems "too little attention, priority and vigor". The city council also failed. "The city council used its authority and power insufficiently and did not come into action to solve these problems." The mistakes were made year on year and each mistake costs Amsterdam residents money. In addition to the biggest blunder in 2013, in which 188 million euros was paid in living expenses contribution instead of 1.88 million euros, many more incorrect payments were made. Up until March 2015 there were a total of 312 cases, amounting to nearly a million euros. Currently about 900 thousand euros was repaid.