General Manager Annelore Roelofs of Waternet Amsterdam is stepping down from her position. She is leaving today. Roelofs has managed the company for less than eleven months, but was confronted with numerous problems.
It was recently announced that Waternet still has to collect almost a quarter of a billion euros in water board tax from its customers. In August 2022, Waternet debited too much money from more than 25,000 households, reports NH Nieuws/AT5.
Waternet Amsterdam is the only public organization in the Netherlands that takes care of the entire water cycle from A to Z. It is a combination of a drinking water company, sewage treatment company and water board. Roelofs, previously deputy chief of police at the Flevoland police force and deputy chief director at the IND, started at Waternet on 28 March last year.
Even then there were numerous problems, mainly due to the introduction of a new ICT system for direct debits. In the summer of 2021, more than a quarter of a million customers were told that several amounts were automatically debited within a few days.
A lot of money written off
Last summer things went wrong again on a large scale and Waternet debited too much money from more than 25,000 Amsterdammers, said alderman Melanie van der Horst in a letter to the city council at the time. In most cases, the amount was debited twice.
The measure was already full for the SP in Amsterdam. “Make excuses, all good. Straighten it later, all nice. But why not just get it right the first time?” Council member Remine Alberts said earlier. She spoke of a “blundering water company”.
At the end of January this year, it also emerged that Waternet still had to collect 237 million euros in water board tax. These are bills for part of 2021 and 2022. There was unrest in the city council because council member Diederik Boomsma (CDA) was afraid that a large part of that money could no longer be collected, because the one-year statute of limitations had already expired .
According to a spokeswoman for Waternet, this is not correct and there is a three-year statute of limitations. According to her, the bills can still be collected. The attacks for 2022 will be sent soon.
Impact of decision making
Today, the general board of the Water Board reports that the company will be managed differently. “In view of the impact of this decision-making and the next phase in this process, Annelore Roelofs has decided, after consultation with the Board of the Foundation, to step down as Managing Director as of today, February 14, 2023,” Waternet said in a statement. Roelofs himself refrains from commenting.
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