Pressure mounts over ministry tenders

The free-market Liberal party (VVD) has called for an investigation into all the private contracts for events connected to the cabinet’s 100-day tour to assess public opinion on government policy.

The call follows the discovery that both minister for the family André Rouvoet and aid minister Bert Koenders broke EU rules on tendering.
Small business association MKB said on Wednesday it estimated that 70% of government projects were not put out to tender as they should be.
Meanwhile, the Volkskrant reports that Koenders is furious at the Christian Democrats for raising the issue of tendering in the first place. Both parties are partners in the coalition government.
The paper says CDA MPs were first to ask why Koenders had awarded a €750,000 project to an agency run by prominent Labour party supporters without putting it out to tender.
The paper says Koenders and foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen (CDA) – who share the same department – have an ‘extremely bad’ relationship.
MPs from Koenders own Labour party (PvdA) are also said to be concerned at the nonchalance he showed when first questioned about the contract, the paper says.

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