The country’s 12 provincial authorities function poorly and councillors are not always capable of exercising proper political control of them, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.
The paper bases its claims on reports by the provincial audit offices which have been looking at the way the authorities function for the past five years. Audit officials gave a negative judgment in more than half the 211 reports which researchers looked at. Only 23 reports were positive.
Provincial councillors cannot keep a proper check on their executive boards because they often don’t have enough information to assess whether policy is being properly carried out, particularly in terms of finance, the paper says.
And executive board members themselves often show poor leadership, leading to patchy alliances with city and town councils and other bodies. New infrastructure projects and maintenance give particular cause for concern.
The worst performing provinces are Groningen and Noord-Brabant while Zeeland and Noord-Holland get the least criticism.
The Netherlands will elect 12 new provincial councils on March 2.
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