Letters on legislative proposals to be made public earlier

In light of the Open Government Act, the Board of the Netherlands Court of Audit has decided that it will publish correspondence with ministers on legislative proposals earlier.

Under the Government Accounts Act 2016, ministers and state secretaries are required to consult the Court of Audit to discuss legislative proposals and certain other specific proposals. On their own initiative, they sometimes ask the Court for advice about their intentions. The Court sends its response by letter to the minster concerned. The letters are made public when the proposals (amended or otherwise) are put to the House of Representatives for debate in parliament. The Court itself then publishes the letters on www.rekenkamer.nl. This is about to change.

Published earlier than in the past

As from 1 July 2023, letters to ministers concerning legislative proposals (section 7.40, Government Accounts Act 2016) will be published on the Court’s website shortly after they are sent to the minister. The information can then form part of the public debate on the government’s intentions. Letters that are specifically about a minister’s intention to found a legal person under private law (Section 4.7, Government Accounts Act 2016) will not be made public immediately. Immediate publication might harm the State’s interests or have another undesirable outcome. The Court of Audit reserves the right to depart from this course of action.

Administrative costs more often on the website

The Board has further decided that administrative costs – and underlying invoices and claims – will in future not be made public once a year but will be posted on the website every quarter. This, too, is in keeping with the move towards greater transparency in government.