Second fraud suspect at RUG
That was per the request of the FIOD after interviewing the individual out of an overabundance of caution, according to RUG board member Jan de Jeu. The department includes 20 staffers who worked directly beneath Hans G. and others who worked with him indirectly via external companies.
The university will soon launch its own separate investigation into the matter, independent of the FIOD research currently going on, although the outcome of the FIOD research will eventually be included in the RUG’s investigation.
Hoffmann, an external company, will conduct the RUG investigation which should initially last several weeks. The first phase is meant to determine what exactly the case entails and which other individuals were involved, as well as to look into what reports were made about the fraud in the past. The Board of Directors has also tasked Hoffmann with determining the margins within which Hans G. was able to operate.
The second phase of investigation could last several months, De Jeu says. The goal of the second phase is to create a report which also assesses the corporate culture that existed in the department and the manner in which the university has assigned maintenance tasks to external companies in the past.
Furthermore, the Board of Directors hopes that Hoffmann will be able to make an estimate of how much money the university could reclaim from the fraudulent contracts.
According to De Jeu, the university also aims to further investigate how it could be that there were no reports about Hans G.’s conduct any sooner or, if there were reports, why they were not brought to the attention of individuals higher in the organisation of the university.
‘What really bothers us is that it appears that several people had their doubts about all of this but that they didn’t share them with a confidential adviser’, RUG president Sibrand Poppema says during a press conference about the university’s own investigation into the Hans G. case. ‘That is also something that concerns us.’
No staff members have come forward to the university leadership in the aftermath of Hans G.’s arrest. However, Poppema also says that there were indications of wrongdoing reported within the department, but when the books were examined for any signs of administrative deception, everything appeared to be in order.
Spider in a web
De Jeu confirmed that the department where Hans G. was in charge oversaw activities and contracts worth millions of euros, but the extent to which Hans G. was able to defraud the involved companies is not yet known. ‘The concern is that that there may have been some cases where less work was done or other work was done than what the assignment was.’
The bookkeeping for the department was also not alarming unto itself, which De Jeu suggests was due to Hans G.’s position as a sort of spider in a web, keeping multiple sets of books.
The university is no longer working with the companies who are suspected of involvement, and two large companies – Strukton and Cofely – have taken on most of the maintenance work that the university has.
EDIT: The press release from the university about the investigation encourages RUG employees to cooperate with the investigators and to report any potentially relevant information.