No realistic mouth cover deal for the Van Lienden story, the room has to wait
The government will not send to the lower house a factual report on the controversial mouth mask deal with Sywert van Lienden. Secretary Helder Long-Term Care and Sports is asking the House to be patient until the summer.
“Your desire for speed and a complete understanding of the facts is mine,” Helder writes. “However, excluding part of the statement of facts will not do justice to the accuracy and completeness of the investigation.”
The investigation by accounting firm Deloitte is taking longer than expected due to the vast amount of information and documents researchers have to explore. Furthermore, the researchers rely on the cooperation of all involved. In an earlier letter to Parliament, Helder hinted that this is not always easy.
Last week, reports from de Volkskrant raised new questions about the role of then-Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports de Jong. Applications from the ministry showed that De Jonge had urged his top official to contact Van Lienden, even though he had already been turned down by the Central Procurement Organization for Medical Devices.
In his response, de Jong said that the “suggestions” in the Volkskrant article were incorrect, but he did not want to say what he thought. He referred to the ongoing investigation and said he was looking forward to the results.
Van Linden, who is still under criminal investigation, says he has full confidence in the Deloitte investigation. It may be ready just before summer.
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