Reliable Investigations Report presented by the WODC I Committee
Today, the WODC I Committee, under the chairmanship of J.A.C.A. Overgaauw, LL.M, presented its report titled Reliable Investigations on the reliability of three drug investigations conducted in 2013 and 2014 by the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) to Minister Grapperhaus of Justice and Security. In a letter to the House of Representatives, the Minister wrote that he considers it important that, in the view of the committee, the three WODC drug reports attest ‘honest, meticulous and reliable investigations’.
The WODC I Committee has, however, observed that, under intense pressure in a politically sensitive dossier, there have been a few instances of undue influence or insufficient influence. Nevertheless, the committee believes that the instances in question were not such that they compromised the reliability of the investigations.
‘In my opinion, the committee acknowledges correctly that the fact that the applicant influences the research topic and the boundaries of the research is inherent to scientific policy research. Still, I deduce from the findings of the committee that there were a few instances in the department of either undue influence or insufficient influence. For me, it is important that the committee, on presenting the report, has emphasised that the efforts and integrity of the WODC and departmental staff are beyond doubt. I view the recommendations of the committee as highly valuable,’ said Minister Grapperhaus.
The recommendations of the WODC I Committee also relate to the terms of reference of the WODC II Committee, which will further scrutinise the relationship between policy departments and investigations. As soon as the report of the WODC II Committee has been completed, the Minister will send a more comprehensive response to the House of Representatives in respect of all three independent investigative committees that he established following reports in late 2017 of possible irregularities affecting WODC investigations. The WODC I Committee is the second committee to have issued a report. In June 2018, the WODC III Committee, under the chairmanship of Prof. E. Verhulp, presented the results of its investigation into how an internal report of the possible irregularities was handled.