The clerk of the Walloon parliament Frédéric Janssens, sidelined since September for his unusual management methods, was leading the way. “The choice of means of transport, also that of accommodation, the sometimes surprising title of the symposiums and conferences give the image of a registry which operated without control, the sole holder of the keys to the Kingdom. And in some cases, cast doubt on the reasoned use of public money, ”explain our colleagues from Le Soir.
According to our colleagues, the clerk made several business class plane trips: “4,646 euros for a round trip to Los Angeles in July 2018, 4,308 euros for a three-day whirlwind visit to Montreal and Ottawa in April 2019, 4,887 euros for a trip to a conference in Nashville in August 2019, etc. Sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by a collaborator”. On the move, he refused nothing. Here, one night in a four-star London, there six nights at 393 euros each at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, or two nights at 400 euros at the Excelsior Gallia in Milan. For these trips and the others, “the rules laid down both by the statute of agents and by the Bureau have been respected”, replies Mr. Janssens to Le Soir.
Latvia, United States, France, Great Britain, Morocco, Italy, Austria… North and south, summer and winter – with a preference for July and August all the same – the Walloon court clerk showed the same eclecticism in the choice of its missions, running from a symposium on inequalities in health systems in Europe to an “Interparliamentary Conference on stability, economic coordination and governance within the European Union”, jumping from the NCSL Legislative Summit held in Nashville – including a presentation on “The Dolly Parton Experience” and another on “American Periods Marked by History, Not Fear” – on the program – at a workshop on the “Code of Conduct for parliamentarians and parliamentary staff” organized in Rabat.
VIP in Dubai
Le Soir is also interested in the trip he made with Jean-Claude Marcourt to Dubai, from November 11 to 15, 2021. They had gone to the universal exhibition. Business class flight contrary to Walloon regulations, hotel at 542 euros per night, guide at more than 3,000 euros, the total cost of the trip is estimated at 19,000 euros according to the documents obtained by our colleagues.
A trip that had raised questions in the head of the PTB and Ecolo. “But President Jean-Claude Marcourt had decided”, we read in Le Soir recalling that he (Editor’s note: Marcourt) “understood the reluctance” and “measured that criticism would be expressed about the projected mission but intended take them on.”
Beyond the business flight, Jean-Claude Marcourt and Frédéric Janssens had reserved the VIP lounge on departure to Zaventem, for 125 euros (excl. VAT). But not for the return from Dubai, which seems to have upset the clerk.