Nine civil servants who worked under former parliamentary chairwoman Khadija Arib say they had “suffered emotionally” through her style of leadership, according to the official report into several incidents during the five years she was in charge.
The investigation was launched on the basis of two anonymous letters which detailed 17 separate situations involving 24 civil servants and one person from outside parliament.
Sixteen of those claims were largely upheld during the investigation, the report said. However, the report said, “the interviews show that not every situation described in the anonymous letters is correct. For example, a number of officials left by choice, not because of Arib’s behaviour.”
In total, 15 of the 19 people interviewed for the report also said Arib was a “skilled” leader who could be “attentive” and “trustworthy” at times. Five people refused to be interviewed.
Arib had refused to cooperate with the investigation because it was based on anonymous sources and described the probe as a “stab in the back”. She has challenged the legality of the research in court – which will rule on the case in two weeks time.
The report concludes that Arib had “what is seen by some as negative verbal manners” and excluded some civil servants from daily business. She also refused to listen to criticism and interfered in business that was nothing to do with her, the report said.
Arib was chairwoman until 2021 when she was beaten in an election for the job by Vera Bergkamp. Bergkamp later ordered the investigation into her management style on the basis of the letters.
That, in turn, led in November 2022 to three senior civil servants resigning. They argued the investigation was politically motivated and had caused a great deal of upset.
Bergkamp said in a reaction to Tuesday’s report that the parliamentary office “regretted the fact these people had to deal with a socially unsafe situation”.
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