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Underfunded ministry of justice cannot pay its bills

© Belga
© Belga

The Belgian Court of Auditors warns that the backlog is € 33.6 million. De Tijd and L’Echo reported on Thursday (9 June) that the sum is based on an estimate by the ministry of justice at the end of the end of the first quarter 2016 and relates to the backlog of payments from 2015.

For outstanding invoices dating from 2011 to 2014, the minister of justice Koen Geens received a single amount of over 101 million. In June 2015, the backlog was estimated to 146 million euros, which required the release of new funds.

But it seems that money is still missing, according to the Court of Auditors. The backlog of € 33.6 million is due to the operation of courts (€ 16.4 million) and prisons (€ 17.2 million).

According to the Court of Auditors, the amount could increase during the year. In the budget documents which it examined, the Court of Auditors did not find any extra money to fill the holes in the budget.

To prevent new payment delays, the ministry of justice would need an annual budget of € 106 million. The minister of justice admits that there is “a problem of structural underfunding”.

The Brussels Times (Source: Belga)

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