GIAL: Opposition groups in Brussels Council want new audit, special commission
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    GIAL: Opposition groups in Brussels Council want new audit, special commission

    Opposition councillors want fast access to a series of documents related to the management of GIAL, the non-profit association in charge of information technology and office management for the Brussels Communal Council, starting with audits conducted since 2000.

    The councillors, from the Ecolo-Groen (ecologists), DéFI [Democratic, Federalist, Independent] and Humanist Democratic Centre (cdH) parties also want a new audit on GIAL’s operations, plus hearings within a special commission.

     These are the main demands listed in a draft motion that they will table together at a meeting of the Communal Council on Monday.

     The initiator of the draft, Ecolo-Groen joint leader Zoubida Jellab, said she was a bit angered at not even receiving an acknowledgement of receipt from alderman Mohamed Ouriaghli (Socialist Party) for the emails she had sent since the end of last week asking him to send her the documents. These include the audit reports, salary structure, list of public contracts, balance sheets, and the organigramme of GIAL’s functional and organizational links.

    The Ecolo representative quickly convinced her counterparts in DéFI, Fabian Maingain, and cdH, Joëlle Milquet and Didier Wauters, to join her initiative, which has now been formalized through the draft motion.

    DéFI’s Fabian Maingain said the council had made efforts with regard to transparency and he himself had been instrumental in having an audit conducted. “However, the effort should not be interrupted,” he said, “we need to lay all the cards on the table and say that things are not going well at GIAL and what has been done to fix them.”    

    Last Friday, GIAL had been severely criticized for an allowance of 1,000 euros per day paid to its director, Michel Leroy, as an independent consultant for 18 years. The contract was annulled in December last following an audit commissioned by the City Council.

    Since then, reports have surfaced about the payment of an interim-spokesman’s salary to former mayor Yves Mayeur. However, the amount is way below that of the contract of the former consultant.

    Information has also emerged on financial fraud and suspicions of corruption by the former director of GIAL, which has led the Council to file a criminal complaint.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times