Too little is known about the impact of central government policy; concerns about staffing levels and ICT; still questions about the Tax and Customs Administration

Accountability audit: Netherlands Court of Audit signals momentum for improvement

The government does not know what impact many of its policies have on society. The President of the Netherlands Court of Audit, Arno Visser, explains, “If the government cannot say what benefits there have been for people and businesses, it shouldn’t be surprised if poor results or incidents at a ministry or a couple of schools or municipalities lead to speculation and hasty conclusions. There is a danger of incidents triggering an overall policy revision. Fact-free politics is the enemy of good accountability. Parliament has a role to play in this, both when setting new and realistic ambitions and when ensuring that the government has allowed sufficient time to implement its new policies. That is the lesson of the recent past."