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IND improves its manner of dealing with whistle blowers’ notifications

​The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) plans to improve its manner of dealing with whistle blowers' notifications and whistle blowers. State Secretary Mark Harbers wrote this today in a letter to the Lower House of Parliament. The IND will also take various management measures against vulnerability in the decision-making process. In doing so, the IND will follow all recommendations arising from two recently published inquiry reports.

The IND was faced with a whistle blower's notification for the first time In 2017. The IND decided to evaluate the process of this notification and its follow-up. On the instructions of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice and Security, a committee of inquiry directed by Mr Ruys, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, conducted an inquiry into the way in which the IND dealt with this notification.

The Ruys Committee concluded that the whistle blower should have been dealt with better. Consequently, various recommendations were made in the report to bring about improvement in the manner of dealing with a whistle blower's notification and the whistle blower him or herself.  Further to this report, the IND consulted with the whistle blower regarding the next steps.

Improvements are possible in the first stage of the process, in which it is determined whether there has been a whistle blower's notification, and the committee made recommendations concerning the availability of confidential counsellors at locations, open communication with whistle blowers and the conferral of responsibilities at the level of the Ministry of Justice and Security. At present, the Ministry is establishing a standing integrity committee that handles, assesses and investigates notifications or complaints

As a result of an individual case concerning the breach of integrity, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) analysed vulnerabilities in IND work processes and systems. PwC recommended various management measures by which the IND can remove or prevent these vulnerabilities. A great many of the recommendations are now being worked out or implemented, such as the screening of staff, increase of awareness of integrity and facilitation of a better separation of duties. The IND will start working on all recommendations.

The nature of both reports entails that they cannot be published in full.  The report of the Ruys Committee was drawn up on the basis of confidential discussions and documentation and various passages of it can be traced to individual members of staff. The PwC report describes various vulnerabilities in the work processes and systems of the IND in detail and also indicates what can be done about them. Publication of this information would give persons and organisations that want to misuse the admission procedures knowledge of these vulnerabilities.

Important parts of these reports will therefore be shared publicly with the Lower House. The complete reports will be made available to the Lower House for inspection on a confidential basis.

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