The top officials of the province of Limburg did not try to manipulate the report on the province’s ties with former deputy Herman Vrehen (CDA). That writes acting commissioner of the king Johan Remkes (VVD) in a response to a publication of NRC. According to him, only the opportunity to be heard has been used and “it is emphatically left to the researchers to decide whether or not to do something with it”.
Wim Derksen and Ernst ten Heuvelhof, both emeritus professors, carried out independent research on behalf of Remkes. That was made public on Friday. Revelations about the IKL landscape foundation and its director Herman Vrehen led to the resignation of all deputies and the king’s commissioner this spring.
Before the Derksen and Ten Heuvelhof report was published, the highest official in the province, Guido Derks, asked them on behalf of the entire management to delete the conclusion that there is a culture of looking away from an administrative and official level. Also the title of the report Looking away as culture had to go.
Read about the contents of the report: ‘The same names keep popping up’
Derksen showed himself against on Monday NRC annoyed at the requests from the province: “It touches my integrity that people apparently thought I was willing to cooperate on something like this.” In an email to civil servant Derks, researcher Derksen wrote: “If it were leaked that we changed our title under pressure from the client, and perhaps one of the most important conclusions, then not only will the province of Limburg have a major problem, but the researchers will also be that contributed to that look painful.”
E-mails submitted by Remkes now show that Derksen and his co-researcher left the title unchanged, but did change the conclusion about look-a-way culture: the report no longer says it applied to the entire organization, but to the hallway of cases in files concerning Vrehen and IKL.
The Provincial Council is now pressing for a meeting where all those involved can be heard. “As far as we’re concerned, that happens publicly,” says Ruby Driessen, leader of the Forum for Democracy.