The Hague subsidies unfairly distributed: Court of Auditors

Half of The Hague's subsidies are not distributed according to the uniform rules and regulations in place for this purpose, the Court of Auditors in The Hague concluded in a report. The city council is unable to fulfill its supervisory role as it is improperly informed and the council doesn't check whether the subsidy issued is actually used for the intended social goals, according to the report titled "Fair sharing", ANP reports. 

"The municipality provides many subsidies on the basis of a general grant regulation and general policies. Therein the criteria for granting and distributing subsides are not made concrete", the report states, according to the news wire. "This while the law requires that the activities for which grants can be provided, as well as the way in which the available resources are distributed to applicants, should in principle be laid down in these documents." According to the Court, this annually involves an amount of between 300 million and 350 million euros.

When distributing money, the municipality often neglects to provide specific information on which social goals the subsidy must contribute to. The city council also can't check what happens to the money, "because the municipality's subsidy register does not provide a complete and accurate overview and the view on the nature of the subsidies is often lacking". 

Since the Court of Auditors' previous critical report on The Hague's subsidy distribution in 2011, some improvements were made. But the progress is insufficient, the Court of Auditors concludes. 

The Hague city council largely agrees with the results of the report and sees "points for improvements in subsidy policies", the council said to the Court of Auditors, according to ANP.