Comments on the 2015 budget of the Ministry of Social Affairs

The letter on the 2015 budget of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) considers, among other things, the Participation Act, supervision of the decentralisation operations and the provision of open data.

It is important that timely assurance is provided on which laws and rules will apply when the Participation Act enters into force on 1 January 2015. In the case of sheltered employment, for example, it must still be formally laid down that the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) will advise on who is entitled to sheltered employment and what criteria will apply. At present, the municipalities must receive such assurance two months before the decentralisation operations take effect.

Supervision of the social domain is complex, with tasks being allocated to municipalities, national inspectorates and ministries. Agreements still have to be made on the supervision of the social domain. The Participation Act lays down that municipalities will be responsible for supervision of enforcement. In the 2015 budget, the Minister states that he is responsible for systemic supervision of the Participation Act. The Work and Income (Implementation Structure) Act lays down that the SZW Inspectorate is responsible for systemic supervision. The government and the municipalities must clarify before 1 January 2015 who will be responsible for performing and coordinating what tasks and supervisory powers in practice.

We found that the Minister of SZW currently rarely releases open data. In the next six months, however, the minister will study what data can systematically be released as open data. A good example of information that can be released as open data is information on the provision and quality of childcare provided in the Netherlands.

The letter is only in Dutch available.