Secretary of State Van Huffelen acknowledges that the complaint handling of the payment affair is seriously inadequate. Access to the complaints team of the Performance Organisation Recovery Fees (UHT) should be “open and accessible”, the maximum treatment period should not be exceeded and the complaint file should be improved much better. Parents should also be able to read the specific reason for this decision in their rejection letter, says Van Huffelen.
The demissionary Secretary of State responds in a letter to the National Ombudsmans new investigation, which shows that the complaint handling system is too complicated and the recovery is slow. “Parents are still stuck,” says Ombudsman Van Zutphen.
the meantime, the Tax Offices union says that they are struggling with too few educated people and says employees have been given an impossible assignment.
The duped wait and wait. Like Roger Derikx; hes not even in the picture as a victim because of a divorce:
Since the beginning of 2020, Van Huffelen has been responsible for handling the payment affair and financial compensation for disadvantaged parents who were wrongly labeled as a fraud by the Tax Authorities and often had to reimburse high amounts of child care allowance.
the end of 2020, the UHT was created for a rapid settlement of financial compensation. The National Ombudsman said in May that it was not going well and still sees no improvement: the legal treatment period is exceeded in a quarter of the cases, and parents are not given any information on what time their file is being dealt with.
The Secretary of State calls the UHT deficit “a painful, but justified” observation. The stagnation is not only due to the sharp increase in complaints as of May 2021, but a new complaints team started in summer, as the old team went back to the Tax Office. “This new complaints team was not yet able to cope with the increase in complaints.”
Albert van der Smissen, president of the Ministry of Finance (NCF) employee union, believes that the UHT is stuck between “unrealistic commitments” by the Secretary of State and an “inefficient organisational structure”. “Its a hell of a job and its actually impracticable with this political pressure.”
The UHT is still facing a growing workload and the additional employees that are so desperately needed are hard to find. Van der Smissen: “Politics makes commitments that are not feasible.”
Part of the solution sees Van der Smissen in doubling the number of employees. In addition, they must have a certain experience, but they are hard to find. The National Ombudsman said in May that more staff would need to be added if the number of complaints increased.
There is now an investigation to accelerate the recovery process, writes Van Huffelen. She has said more often, also in the House of Representatives, that a “different approach” is needed for repairing the articulated damage of the parents who have been affected.
In Nieuwsuur, Van Huffelen said last week that the compensation handling will be “a very long time”. A total of less than 10 percent of the cases in the surcharge scandal have been handled at this time.