Parliamentary inquiry: most powerful instrument of the House of Representatives
In the past few months the committee heard more than 80 people from at home and abroad. These hearings took place behind closed doors. As of 18 May the committee has held public hearings. Anyone can follow these hearings, be it in the Inquiry Room or via the House's website. Journalists are also welcome to report on the hearings. The hearings are likely to stretch over a period of four weeks.
The parliamentary inquiry is the most powerful instrument the House of Representatives has at its disposal to exercise its duty to scrutinize the work of the Government. Witnesses called by a committee of inquiry are obliged to appear before the committee. This holds true for ministers and state secretaries as well. Witnesses are questioned under oath. This means that they can be prosecuted for perjury if it turns out that they have not been telling the truth. Read more about the parliamentary inquiry.
Fyra is the name of a high-speed rail service (up to 250 km/h - 155 mph) between the Netherlands and Belgium, to be operated on the so-called High Speed Railway South. The construction of this railway was accompanied by delay and cost overruns. When the Fyra V250 was finally put into operation, problems occurred immediately. Train services were cancelled or considerably delayed. On 18 January 2013, forty days after its introduction, the Fyra service between Amsterdam and Brussels was discontinued.
Parliamentary inquiry into the failure of Fyra
On Thursday 19 December 2013 the House of Representatives decided to carry out a parliamentary inquiry into Fyra. By means of this powerful instrument of inquiry the committee wants to establish why the plans for a rail service on the High Speed Railway South have ended in failure. The committee of inquiry investigates the tendering process and how the choice of train builder AnsaldoBreda was made. The committee also investigates how the rail service was awarded to the operator and what the initial aims were.
Many companies, government bodies and people were involved in the design and building of the trains. How did they act and how did they communicate with each other? The committee of enquiry wants to get an answer to these questions. The committee also wants to know more about the role of the various parties involved in the acceptance of the trains. Finally, the committee wants to establish how the decision to withdraw the trains from service was made.
Chair of the committee is Ms Madeleine van Toorenburg (CDA). Ms Mei Li Vos (PvdA) is deputy chair. The other members of the committee are Mr Ton Elias (VVD, substitute for Mr Ard van der Steur, VVD, since 31 March 2015), Mr Henk van Gerven (SP) and Ms Vera Bergkamp (D66).