3 May 2019

Appeal Damen Shipyards

The national newspaper NRC published stories about Damen Shipyards Group in 2018, partly based on internal memos of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a freedom of information request (Public Administration Act (WOB)). Damen today appealed against a decision of the court to grant disclosure of additional internal memos in this procedure.

Damen stresses that it has a good relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, Damen believes that the memos, which are the subject of this procedure, should not be made public. On the one hand because they concern confidential information between the Ministry and Damen and on the other because it has now become clear that the national newspaper NRC has caused us great damage with earlier publications. In Romania in particular, the articles have been used by a competitor in a large tender procedure to gain a competitive advantage over our company. This is partly based on incorrect interpretations of previously released WOB documents to NRC.

NRC is doing the same with regard to this procedure concerning the internal memos. In an NRC publication (13 March) these memos are linked to the term 'corruption'. However, Damen stresses that these internal memos have nothing to do with corruption. They can be traced back to the settlement that Damen reached with the World Bank. This was not a corruption case, but related to the irregular completion of tender documents.

Against the background of this settlement, Damen has intensively and emphatically focused on a robust compliance programme in recent years. This programme is now well developed and meets the high standards of the World Bank.

René Berkvens

CEO Damen Shipyards


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