Food and product safety body merger was a failure: audit office

The merger of three government inspection services into a single food and product safety body NVWA was a failure, the national audit office said in a report on Wednesday.

The decision to merge the three groups into a single body was not properly thought out, the benefit forecasts were too optimistic, the cost savings failed to materialise and savings expected in the future will probably not happen, the audit office said.

The aim of the merger of the general inspection service AID, plant health service (PD) and food safety body VWA was to save €50m a year and create a more efficient service. However, spending has far outstripped agreed budgets, the audit office says.

In a reaction, ministers said they are working on plans to strengthen the watchdog.

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