During a debate about the involvement of his ministry in the advice, Kuipers adopted a suggestion from SP member Maarten Hijink to that effect. The House also wants the minister to give serious consideration to advice on the social impact.
Documents made public through the Wob show that the ministry asked the OMT to amend the text of their advice on certain points. In some cases the advisory team did not, but sometimes they did. The entire House agreed that this working method raised questions, although the VVD and D66 in particular thought it too early to conclude that the ministry actually had influence on the content of the advice.
“The OMT is independent. Members are in the OMT in a personal capacity because of their expertise. I am not responsible for the composition of the OMT and I am not in the OMT,” said Kuipers. He maintained that the final text was always composed by the team itself, and that it could also choose not to adopt the suggestions.
Still, Kuipers did not want to send the OMT recommendations to the House without official advice. He does want to share them in the Administrative Coordination Consultation (BAO), where the municipalities, municipal health services and other organizations consult. Kuipers did promise that yields will be recorded from now on.
During the debate, a large part of the House expressed concerns about the lack of transparency about the formulation of corona policy, in which the advice plays a major role.
The House agreed that there should be a strong counterpart to the OMT that looks into the social consequences of the corona virus.
Prepared for new wave
“I think of all those young people who stared at their screen in their student room, the entrepreneurs who had to close their doors and the people with vulnerable health who avoided encounters,” says ChristenUnie MP Mirjam Bikker. She wants to be prepared for a possible new wave.
Bikker, together with CDA, GroenLinks, Party for the Animals, D66, SP, Pieter Omtzigt, PVV, BBB, DENK and the Van Haga Group, are submitting a motion asking the cabinet to set up that team before the autumn. That team must become equal to the OMT.