The Ministry of Defense is drawing up new rules for the amounts that can be spent on staff outings and parties, dinners and business gifts.
Defense does that after Show news requested documents from the Ministry relying on the Government Information (Public Access) Act. This shows that from 2016 to 2018, approximately 14 million euros was spent on parties, dinners, outings and business gifts. These costs were invoiced and declared, but the Ministry of Defense had no overview of these expenses, partly because the costs were entered in all kinds of general ledger accounts.
For example, 4.4 million euros were spent on parties and gifts in 2016 and 2017, but these costs rose to 5.1 million euros in 2018. These higher costs were partly due to a trip to Walibi, where staff of the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary were allowed to take three persons with them.
Well known artists
At large annual events such as the Orange Ball and the King’s Ball, luxury dinners and buffets have been regularly outsourced to caterers and well-known artists have been hired for the musical entertainment. That has to change now, says Defense. Defense units are now allowed to organize an outing a maximum of twice a year.
“With these new rules, we can keep costs down and pursue a sober policy. After all, this is community money,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense told the ANP.
Between 2016 and 2018, around 55,000 people worked at Defense.