The mayor of a small town in Namur province, who also happens to be deputy prime minister, owns a company which profited to the tune of some €300,000 from public works contracts handed out by his own administration, news magazine Le Vif has alleged.
David Clarinval (MR) was elected unopposed as mayor of the town of Bièvre in 2018, a post he had held since 2001, when he was the youngest Belgian mayor in history.
He is now also part-owner of Clarinval Constructions, a company he bought from his father in 2014, together with his brother and sister.
He has held a seat in the federal parliament since 2007, and last year became a minister in the government of his party colleague Sophie Wilmès, in charge of budget, public service and science policy. Since then, his mayoral sash has been taken over by Michaël Modave, a member of the local UPA list.
Nevertheless before he took leave from his mayoral duties, the administration he heads issued a number of public works contracts from which his company has profited, the magazine reports.
In 2015 he inaugurated, in his capacity as mayor, a communal hall for which the commune had paid over €600,000, €59,358 of which went to Clarinval Constructions, which had undertaken work as a sub-contractor for the company that won the contract. Clarinval had been involved in the decision to award the contract to a company his business then worked for.
The same arrangement came to pass in 2018, when Clarinval Constructions stepped in as sub-contractor for the construction of cloakrooms and canteen for the Royal Standard Football Club Bièvre. On that occasion, Clarinval’s company was paid €138,216 from the total contract price of €747,723, paid for by the commune.
The last example dates back to 2013, when Clarinval was not yet owner of the company, but was an employee. As mayor, he had approved the commune’s subsidy for the project, which also received regional money. His father’s company made €134,865 from the project, Le Vif reports.