Presidency: decision to investigate Arib carefully and lawfully

The presidency, the executive board of the House of Representatives, believes that the decision to conduct an external investigation into cross-border behavior by former chairman Arib was made โ€œcarefully and lawfullyโ€. This is what the current chairman, Bergkamp, writes in a letter to the members of parliament.

The investigation continues, even though Arib has now resigned as a Member of Parliament and will not cooperate. The presidency deeply regrets that the decision to investigate was leaked before Arib himself could be informed about it. โ€œDespite the great care we wanted to exercise,โ€ Bergkamp writes. Today, she reported the leak.

Anonymous reports showed that there may have been โ€œa very unsafe working environmentโ€ for officials under Arib. She allegedly took advantage of her position and belittled people.

This is also evident from a reconstruction that is in the NRC today. According to the newspaper, employees of the House only dared to open their mouths when Arib was no longer chairman.

โ€œNot worth a snapโ€

In an explanation of her letter, Bergkamp says that serious signals have been received. โ€œWe wouldnt be worth a snap if we didnt take these kinds of signals seriously.โ€ According to her, it was a tough decision to launch an investigation.

Bergkamp did not address her own role in the matter. โ€œIts not about the chairman or the vendetta with the previous chairman. Im not getting involved in that either. It concerns possible unsafe situations for the Chamber staff.โ€

Bergkamp explained her letter to MPs:

Two anonymous letters were received with complaints. The immediate reason for the second letter is the appointment of Arib as chairman of the temporary committee that will prepare a parliamentary investigation into the corona crisis.

The anonymous letter describes occurrences that, according to Bergkamp, have been confirmed by the official management of the House of Representatives โ€œand match previous (concrete and serious) signals of an unsafe working environment. On this basis, the House of Representatives, as an employer, has a duty to act,โ€ writes the chairman.

Meetings left four times

According to Bergkamp, the fact that Arib was not first heard before a decision was made to investigate is the usual method. Hearing the person concerned first would mean that the presidency and the clerk (the highest official) of the House would already investigate themselves. โ€œAnd that does not relate to the premise that, in this case, an external, independent study is desirable.โ€

According to Bergkamp, the House Board met four times in September about the reports and complaints and the possible steps to take. The national lawyer was also called in to provide advice. According to her, this is also in accordance with the rules, because in employment law matters concerning the organization and State, the national lawyer is consulted and not the lawyer of the House of Representatives itself.

Arib spoke of dagger sting

Arib reacted furiously last Wednesday when she heard via NRC that the presidency had decided to conduct an external investigation. She spoke of a political reckoning and a dagger stab in the back from her successor Bergkamp. On Saturday evening, the PvdA member announced that she will quit as a Member of Parliament.

The

reason for the investigation is two anonymous letters with complaints that have been received by the presidency. The first, from February this year, was sent to the then party chairman of the PvdA, Lilianne Ploumen. He decided to forward the letter to the President of Parliament.

On July 27, another anonymous letter was received, mentioning a โ€œsocially unsafe working environment, which would result from Ms Aribs attitude and performance in her period as chairmanโ€. This letter talks about 28 employees of the House of Representatives who left under Aribs rule.

Corona Committee

The letter writer also draws attention to the fact that the staff of the Temporary Corona Committee may have to operate in an โ€œunsafe and burdensome working environmentโ€. Last summer, Arib was elected chairman of that committee.

HP/De Tijd reports tonight that the officials who support this committee do not recognize themselves in this. The committee clerk sent an email to committee members last week. On behalf of all his colleagues, he writes: โ€œWe have already worked professionally with the entire committee, including the chairman, and see no barriers to continuing to do so.โ€

With her letter to MPs, Bergkamp also sends two attachments, including the advice of the national lawyer. This shows that there had been complaints about Aribs performance for a long time. In 2019, the clerk and another senior official of the House have all their concerns there.overvoiced.

The company doctor and counselors also rang the bell in 2021. At that time, they already recommended a study โ€œfor the health and well-being of all employees of the Chamberโ€. In June 2021, chairman Bergkamp promised an investigation into the work experience.