Sunday, August 31, 2008

Former Dutch minister keeps UN removal money

Former Dutch development cooperation minister Eveline Herfkens will not be forced to return money she received towards the cost of her apartment in New York. Between 2002 and 2006, the Dutch foreign ministry paid getting on for 200,000 euros towards her rental and removal expenses after she started working for the United Nations.

She had the rank of assistant secretary-general and was based in New York. The payments later turned out to be against UN regulations and Dutch MPs demanded she return the money.

However, Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has now written to parliament, saying Ms Herfkens acted in good faith. The United Nations Development Programme, her employer, is also not insisting on restitution. Ms Herfkens has apologised for her oversight and has offered to work for a year for no salary.

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