“Culture of blurring of standards and insufficient sense of integrity”

Will there soon be headlines at the public broadcaster VRT? Anyone who reads the audit report can hardly help but reach that conclusion. “What is in that report is not acceptable in any company and certainly not with a public broadcaster that is partly financed with the money of the Flemish people”, the new VRT CEO Frederik Delaplace wrote in an email to VRT staff. So reports The time.

Audit Flanders investigated possible irregularities in the board of directors after a fierce argument at the top of the VRT between then CEO Paul Lembrechts and media director Peter Claes. Both Claes and Lembrechts have since been fired.

The report refers to blurring of standards and irregularities in public contracts. There would be one “Culture problem” consist of dealing with the law on public contracts, whereby procurement rules are sometimes interpreted rather loosely.

According to the newspaper The time people talk about it in political circles “A culture of favoritism and ‘we know us’”. It would not immediately be about corruption, or financially serious matters, but about the corporate culture. The new VRT CEO acknowledges the report “Gives the impression of inadequate organizational control and insufficient sense of integrity among certain employees”.

Insiders believe that the CEO will use the audit report to “To muck out the stable”.

The fact that Delaplace is sending an internal email to the staff about this seems a harbinger of his intentions to take the bull by the horns. “An accumulation of small and large mistakes creates the image of an organization that is not always or has not always acted with integrity”, he writes.

A judicial follow-up to the audit may also follow. In any case, the document has been sent to the court. This will investigate whether any criminal offenses have been committed.

CEO Frederik Delaplace, meanwhile, warns against one “Zero tolerance” for anyone who doesn’t respect the rules. It was also announced on Friday that ex-VRT program maker and presenter Bart De Pauw has declared the public broadcaster in default. He is demanding damages of 10 million euros. Insiders assume that the CEO will use the audit report to “To muck out the stable”.

Flemish Minister of Media, Benjamin Dalle (CD&V) has now announced that he has already contacted CEO Delaplace. “As a public broadcaster, the VRT sets an example in complying with all the rules. The VRT ensures that the control of correct compliance with rules and deontology is tightened with immediate effect. ”

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