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Probe at Dutch scheme turns up catalogue of errors, but no fraud

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  • Probe at Dutch scheme turns up catalogue of errors, but no fraud

NETHERLANDS - An investigation into the movement of pension assets at the Central Bureau for Driving Licences (CBR) in the Netherlands has unearthed a catalogue of accounting errors, but no evidence of fraud.

Integis, the company that conducted the investigation - together with external experts at Nyenrode Business University, Groningen University and law firm NautaDutilh - said the CBR's employees council and executive, who initially launched the investigation, would determine the financial consequences for pensions.

In its investigation, Integis found that officials at the scheme had taken "questionable decisions" on a number of occasions over a long period of time.

It said the irregularities mainly involved ignoring general formal rules for pension funds, and that these irregularities often occurred during efforts to repair the negative consequences of earlier decisions.

The investigation focused on the CBR's Stichting Toeslagfonds (STF), which was responsible for managing assets for indexation.

The panel of external experts said the financial irregularities identified had largely been corrected, and that no person or party had unlawfully benefited from the mistakes.

It recommended that the CBR refrain from filing criminal charges or launching further inquiries, due to the lack of available information and large costs involved.

The CBR's executive board said it would follow the recommendations, yet the employees council said it was still considering its response.

In a letter to CBR staff, Cees Lange, chairman of the employees council, pointed out that officials at the scheme had failed to take action on a previous investigation, which concluded that inconsistencies and "remarkable differences" in accounting pension costs were "cause for suspicion".

The CBR outsourced its pension provision to the €261bn civil service scheme ABP as of 1 January 2012.

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