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Organisation of B-FAST continues to be a mess
The mission carried out by B-FAST after the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 brought to light a series of serious problems in the intervention unit. At the time, Minister Reynders promised that things would get better. “But two years later, these improvements are few and far between,” says the N-VA. “Without any clear insight into what went wrong within the organisation, carelessly prepared missions will keep on happening.”
After the B-FAST mission in Nepal, the N-VA vigorously requested an audit of the organisation. Foreign Affairs agreed to the request, but deadlines were put back time and again. Finally, it was only last month that an interim report was released by the Financial Inspectorate.
“The numbers are incomplete and unclear. What’s more, this is just a first part of the promised audit. Delivering a report such as this after two years is absolutely substandard,” the party emphasises.
13% more expensive
For this reason, the N-VA requested the costs of B-FAST from the departments concerned at its own initiative and compared them with the report by the Financial Inspectorate. And, for example, the numbers from the Financial Inspectorate show that B-FAST is 13% more expensive than indicated by the departments themselves. Since it did not receive any annexes on cost distribution, the party cannot check where the difference between its own numbers and those of the Minister is to be found.
B-FAST reported expenses that are contradictory, and according to the Inspectorate’s report the responsibility lies with the secretariat of B-FAST.
B-FAST is not capable of putting the right numbers on the table. For the N-VA, this is once again evidence that B-FAST is an organisational mess. The party will therefore continue to urge the Minister to involve the Court of Audit to shed some light on the situation. That is the only and correct solution, and the reform still needs to be implemented during the current legislature.