Probably no report on mask deal before summer recess
The Deloitte report on the controversial mask deal between the Ministry of Health and Sywert van Lienden will probably not be ready for the summer recess of the Tweede Kamer, according to Health Minister Conny Helder. Another two weeks may be added because more time is needed to hear both sides of the argument with involved parties.
According to Helder, there are two options for the Tweede Kamer. The report could be sent to the Tweede Kamer at the start of the recess, but without a Cabinet response. Another option is to send the report later on in the recess, or afterwards. The government would then have a response.
To the impatience of the Tweede Kamer and the minister, the deadline for the report has already been postponed several times. Initially, the investigation was supposed to have been completed in September last year, but the Cabinet reported delays on several occasions.
Van Lienden wrote on Twitter on Friday evening that he was asked to waive the previously agreed deadlines for adversarial hearing because the draft report had been delayed. He said this is not expected until mid-June, because, according to him, the Ministry of Health transferred data late. Interviews are also said to have been held this week.
He called it "sad" that his organization now "becomes a scapegoat." He has also addressed the ministry about this, he wrote. He did not find it fair to limit the rebuttal compared to agreements made earlier.
Earlier this week, Helder said the report would be ready before the summer recess started. The recess starts July 8 and lasts until Sept. 5.
Van Lienden and his companions earned millions by selling face masks to the government. He said he was doing this on a nonprofit basis, but the deal turned out to be through a commercial company of Van Lienden.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) is investigating and has now seized more than 11.5 million euros. Online store Coolblue and broadcaster Randstad have filed a report. They cooperated because they had been told that it was a nonprofit initiative from Van Lienden.
Reporting by ANP.