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Dublin: 19 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

Dutch budget exposed early by enterprising student

Bram Talman discovered the financial plans after simply changing the government’s web address from 2010 to 2011.

Image: moppet65535 via Flickr

FULL DETAILS OF the Dutch government’s budget for next year were leaked online a day early – after civil servants posted the document using the same web address as the year before.

The 213-page document was discovered by 29-year-old student and journalist Bram Talman, who simply took the URL of the previous year’s document and changed ’2010’ to ’2011’. He said: “Last year the name of the website was miljoenennota.prinsjesdag2010.nl. I simply replaced 2010 with 2011,” Radio Netherlands reports.

Mr Talman then posted the link on Twitter and it was quickly picked up by Dutch media ahead of the budget’s official release on Friday. The country’s finance ministry confirmed the document was authentic and called the premature publication “a really dumb mistake”.

According to Reuters, the company charged with testing the budget website should have uploaded a dummy document – but simply used the real one instead. The firm, called Facetbase, said it was a case of human error.

The government’s figures revealed expected growth of one per cent during 2011, with a budget deficit of 2.9 per cent.

And before you ask – no, the same trick doesn’t work with Ireland’s budget. TheJournal.ie has already tried.

- Additional reporting from AP

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