MPs told to improve monitoring of mega projects

15th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Parliament must have its own supervision agency to oversee large-scale infrastructure projects, a commission which investigated budgetary breaches in various mega projects advised on Wednesday.

15 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Parliament must have its own supervision agency to oversee large-scale infrastructure projects, a commission which investigated budgetary breaches in various mega projects advised on Wednesday.

Under the leadership of Labour PvdA MP Adri Duivesteijn, the commission investigated the problems concerning the construction of the Betuwelijn freight train route and the HSL high-speed passenger line. The freight route, for example, is costing double the initial estimate.

The commission's report said various factors prevented the parliament from conducting adequate and credible management and supervision of infrastructure projects, news service NOS reported.

MPs must therefore be involved earlier in decision-making than is presently the case. It must become simpler to arrange meetings with public servants to discuss technical aspects of projects, the commission said.

A year in the making, the report also advised for a structural improvement in the way in which the Cabinet informs the parliament, opening up the possibility of constitutional change.

The Transport and Public Works Ministry was strongly criticised. The commission claims the ministry is a "partisan, public servant stronghold".

It said the construction of the Zuiderzeelijn would be a test case, with doubts raised about the necessity of the rail link between Amsterdam and the north of the country. The report's recommendations could be applied to this project.

The commission was established on 11 November 2003 in response to ongoing concern from MPs about budgetary breaches in mega projects. The commission was requested to investigate how the parliament could gain more control.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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