The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) has begun dismissal procedures against Nurten Albayrak following a damning report on her leadership of the government organisation.
Reports by public news broadcaster NOS last September revealed a culture of fear among staff at the COA. Ms Albayrak was suspended and an investigation launched into accusations that she not only dominated, but also terrorised the organisation. The conclusions of the Scheltema inquiry roundly condemn her leadership style. The institution’s board of supervisors also come in for criticism.
According to the report, Ms Albayrak created a culture of 'divide and rule' within the organisation, even intimidating other members of the management team. She lied about private use of her company car and the board of directors failed to rein in her excessive salary.
The members of the board of supervisors have handed in their resignations to Asylum and Integration Minister Gerd Leers. There was too much distance between the board and the workfloor for it to be aware of the working climate and the effects of Ms Albayrak’s dominance. Minister Leers had already said Ms Albayrak would not be returning to the COA before her dismissal was announced. He said the management of the organisation, which organises accommodation and facilities for asylum seekers, would be improved.
The Christian Democrats and Freedom Party think she should pay back her excess wages - as public servants are not supposed to earn more than the Balkenende standard (i.e. they should earn less than the prime minister - a rule introduced under former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende).
The Labour Party goes even further, demanding that fraud charges be brought against her for allegedly falsifying the administration of the private use of her company car. According to the report, she instructed her secretary to make up appointments for a number of times when she had used the car privately.
Labour MP Martijn van Dam called her spiralling salary “shocking”. He also wants to hear from Mr Leers whether the ministry had received signals that something was wrong in the organisation before the NOS news reports.
Ms Albayrak says she will give her reaction at a press conference on Thursday.
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