Police, intelligence and privacy watchdog "virtually bankrupt"

The police watchdog Comité P, the intelligence gathering watchdog Comité I and the Privacy Commission are just 3 of several institutions that will face serious deficits by 2018. "It can't go on like this", Federal Chamber Speaker Siegfried Bracke (N-VA) told the VRT. "They are safe for 2017, but should look at how we can improve efficiency."

A large number of institutions relying on public funding are affected. Siegfried Bracke is sounding the alarm as Chairman of the Accountancy Commission, which is looking into the budgets of these organisations. Figures have now revealed that a large number of them are virtually bankrupt.

One solution would be to have them work "more efficiently", in other words to cut costs by introducing austerity measures. Having the separate translation services merge is just one option.

The Comité P is presently using savings from the past to fill the gaps, but this cash will be finished by 2018. In other words, there is no problem for 2017 yet, but there is for 2018.

Yves Keppens of the Comité P says he has been promised that no people will be made redundant. Bracke hopes a solution can be reached: "A good watchdog is quintessential for democracy", he said.