News

Jeroen Hellenberg, October 9, 2014

Ordina provides update on results of investigation

Ordina has for the time being completed its investigation into possible irregularities in public sector tenders and contracts in the period 2005-2010 as alleged recently in the Zembla television programme. Ordina cannot yet give any definitive results, since investigations, also by third parties, are still ongoing and yet to by instigated.

Ordina deeply regrets the recent reports and does not identify with the picture painted in the Zembla broadcast, which suggested that there were structural irregularities. The addendum to this press release contains a description of the provisional findings per case.

On 2 October last, Ordina announced that it could not be determined that there had been any irregularities in the two tender procedures for the Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND) in 2006-2007 and 2009 that had been investigated. In addition, Ordina announced that a further four cases, which Zembla submitted on 29 August last, are now being investigated.

The Board of Management finds, based on the initial findings of the follow-up research, that there has been inappropriate behavior of a limited number of people in some cases. In two cases confidential information seems to have been shared. In another case, an Ordina employee was asked to remove an e-mail from the ‘Sent items’ box. This indicates that the person in question was aware that the content of the e-mail could be deemed unacceptable.

There was also, in some cases, informal contact between an Ordina employee, the client and/or their advisor relating to tenders. Although it has not been established that the latter conduct was inappropriate, it is best to avoid all appearance of wrongdoing and refrain from such informal contacts around tender procedures.

Several of the people who appear to have shared confidential information are no longer employed at or on Ordina’s behalf. Ordina will also refrain from doing business with these persons in the future.

As a result of the above findings, Ordina is still investigating the actions of three people who are still employed at Ordina. Unacceptable conduct does not befit Ordina. It will not be tolerated. Ordina will take disciplinary action against all employees who are guilty of unacceptable or inappropriate conduct.

All cases relate to the period 2005/2009. The current Board of Management was not active at Ordina at that time. The Board of Management of Ordina therefore recognizes the importance of shared insights and open communications about the events in question and will obviously lend its full cooperation to all investigations, including any conducted by authorities. Ordina will also initiate its own further investigations should there be cause for same.

Ordina has in recent years continuously and considerably tightened its policies, internal processes, procedures and training courses relating to tenders, as well as elements such as its code of conduct. All major tender procedures and the progress in all major IT program are discussed with the Management Board on a weekly basis.

The Management Board, together with the management and employees of Ordina, will devote explicit attention to the personal clarification of what constitutes desirable and undesirable conduct. To this end, Ordina is developing an integrity programme based on current and real situations in which dialogues are used to make clear what constitutes desirable behaviour. And there will be assessments to determine that this is applied in day-to-day practice. All of the above will be incorporated in the code of conduct to ensure that these insights are also applied in the future. This programme will be continuous.

Our clients, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders can count on the fact that we will do everything in our power to uphold these crucial integrity standards.

NB1
The addendum to press release dated 9 October 2014 with a description of the cases that were included in the investigation.

Ordina has investigated a total of six cases, following allegations by the investigative television programme Zembla:

• “Aanbestedingen IND I en II”: Two cases related to tenders from the Immigration and Naturalisation department (IND);
• “Informatiedeling”: Two cases related to the sharing of confidential information around contracts for the IND (IND III) and the Public Prosecutors Office (PPO);
• “Defensie”: A case related to the sharing of confidential information by a member of the national reserve working at the Ministry of Defence, who in civilian life is employed by Ordina;
• “Gemeente Rotterdam”: a case related to tenders from and contacts for the Rotterdam City Council.

The above-mentioned cases date back to the period 2005-2009.

Zembla presented Ordina with the two cases “Aanbestedingen IND” in June/July 2014. The law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has investigated these cases. Zembla presented Ordina with the remaining four cases on 29 August 2014. Ordina has investigated these cases itself on the basis of all available information, with the assistance of the law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek on certain elements of the case related to the Rotterdam City Council and that related to the information exchange with the IND.

On the basis of the provisional results of the above-mentioned investigations, the Management Board  has concluded the following:

“Aanbestedingen IND I en II”:
• As previously communicated (press release dated 2 October 2014), the Management Board concluded on the basis of the outcome of the investigation conducted by De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek that it had not been established that there was any question of irregularities in either of these two tenders.

“Informatiedeling”:
• It is probable that confidential information was shared in these two cases;
• In the case of “IND III” it is unfortunately not possible to confirm the indications due to the absence of the relevant e-mails from 2005/2006. It therefore cannot be established whether and to what extent there was any question of inappropriate conduct. The employee in question was at the time seconded via Ordina as a freelancer and is currently not working for or via Ordina;
• The second case (“OM”) is related to activities under a project agreement. Once again, unfortunately, the absence of the relevant e-mails from 2006 amongst others means it has not been established that the information was only used for the project implementation or beyond.

“Defensie”:
• In view of the fact that the reservist was employed at the Ministry of Defence at the time the information was shared, and was acting after agreeing same with representatives of the Defence Ministry, it appears that there was no question of irregularities on Ordina’s part;
• Following the provision of the above information, Ordina advised the ministry entirely free of charge. There is no evidence of any other commercial advantage.

“Gemeente Rotterdam”:
• This case appears to revolve around the sharing of information by an employee of the Rotterdam City Council. The internal investigation at Ordina has so far failed to produce sufficient evidence to conclude to what extent Ordina was guilty of irregularities. Ordina is awaiting the outcome of the investigation of the Rotterdam City Council on this point. It has however been established that the € 32 million tender referred to by Zembla was never put out to the market;

NB
This addendum may not be viewed in isolation from the press release issued by Ordina on 9 October 2014.
NB2
Ordina received a letter with questions from the Dutch shareholders association VEB. Ordina will publish the answers to these questions today on its website www.ordina.com/en/veb.

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