'Ministry withholding information on safety at Schiphol is serious business'
The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is refusing to release documents on the safety of Schiphol Airport, despite a court ruling that they must be made public. The case has been running for four years and was brought by current affairs programme EenVandaag.
The reason for the court case was a request from EenVandaag in February 2018 on the basis of the Government Information (Public Access) Act (Wob). The Act provides that everyone can request information from the government. Yet the Ministry had continued to refuse to release certain documents. It lodged an appeal with the Council of State, but those proceedings were suspended: so the documents must be released.
It is a serious business that this information is not being made public, says Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law Wim Voermans in EenVandaag. 'This is information that has been collected with taxpayers’ money and it concerns something vital: air safety at Schiphol Airport.'
According to Voermans, this trend is part of a pattern in which the government is becoming less transparent. 'The Government is dragging its heels and getting away with it. This is yet another example. But if citizens make a mistake in their tax form, you can be sure they won’t get away with it.'