Insight into Inspection Reports

Audit of the effect of 3 reports issued by the Justice and Security Inspectorate

The Netherlands Court of Audit has investigated the impact of 3 reports issued by the Justice and Security Inspectorate. It concluded that the reports had only limited effect. The inspectorate checks that implementing organisations carry out their public tasks correctly. The Court of Audit asked whether the inspection reports led to concrete changes in implementation that had a definite social impact. It concluded that this was unlikely. The Court believes the answer to this question is important because the Minister of Justice and Security (J&V) would then know whether laws were having their intended effect or whether they needed to be amended.

What are our conclusions?

In Insight into Inspection Reports, we conclude that both the Minister of J&V and the implementing organisations should make better use of the inspectorate’s reports.

What audit methods did we use?

We selected 3 inspection reports for our audit:

  • Out of Balance – an inspection of the performance of six prison locations (2018)
  • Cooperation between HALT Bureau and the Police (2017) 
  • On the way to Balance – an inspection of how the police issue firearms to members of the public (2016)

We chose these 3 reports because they cover different areas of the judicial system: sanctions, juvenile offenders and the police. We selected older inspection reports that were not prompted by a specific incident. This improved our ability to determine their impact on implementation.

Current status

In response to our audit report, the Minister of J&V said he would improve the effectiveness of inspection reports and make better use of the inspectorate’s critical and analytical findings. The new government would also increase the funding and scope of inspectorates.