Dutch government spent nearly €900,000 on a new video conference platform, then never used it

If you’ve ever been curious about concrete examples of the government wasting taxpayers’ money, here’s one.

The Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations spent nearly €900,000 on building their very own alternative of Zoom — the so-called Dutch Secure Mobile Communication Platform.

But because the platform took too long to build and wasn’t exactly user-friendly (too difficult to change your background to a beach maybe?), the government never actually ended up using it, reports NU.nl.

A new tool for the pandemic times

The idea to build a video conference platform specifically for the government came shortly after the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

Because of time constraints, there were no tenders, and the assignment went straight to the New Trust Foundation (NTF) — a foundation that aims to promote the trustworthiness of digital identity and data.

The Dutch government paid the NTF more than €886,000 in advance. The NTF then delegated the creation of the platform to X-Systems, a Dutch company that focuses on digital security.

According to X-Systems, the platform is safe and does run on Dutch servers. Unfortunately, it just isn’t very user-friendly. So while the government has saved its prototype, the whole project has since been cancelled.

We obviously don’t want to underappreciate the importance of digital security — particularly when it comes to matters of the government. But at the same time, we would have honestly preferred to see taxpayers’ money go towards other projects than the government’s own Zoom. Like adequate and affordable housing, to name just one example…

What do you think of the Dutch government trying to build its own platform for video conferences? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: stockasso/Depositphotos

Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Originally from the Czech Republic, Jana moved to the Netherlands for her studies. She fell in love with the local biking culture, and you’ll see her drifting through the streets of Rotterdam on her pink bike even in the worst possible weather (think rain, snow, hail, or all three). Besides advocating for Rotterdam as the best Dutch city, she likes to wander around with a camera in her hand.

1 COMMENT

  1. “… adequate and affordable housing…” is the responsibility of those citizens looking for adequate and affordable housing. Just like brushing your own teeth.

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