EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Netherlands

Country score (European Average*)
  • 43(67) Political Financing
  • 13(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 3(41) Conflict of Interest
  • 46(56) Freedom of Information
  • 60(65) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)48,400
Population, total16,936,520
Urban population (% of total)90.5
Internet users (per 100 people)93.2
Life expectancy at birth (years)81.6
Mean years of schooling (years)11.9
Global Competitiveness Index5.5
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Election Act (1989, amended 2009) and the Subsidies Act for Political Parties (2011) were the main laws regulating party financing but the Financing of Political Parties Act 2013 brings about recent changes to the law.

There are few limits on the private income of political parties. There appears to be no ban on donations from foreign entities, corporations, trade unions or anonymous donors. There are also no limits on the amount that donors may donate to political parties. 

There is public funding available for political parties and is allocated based on the share of votes received in the previous election and the number of members. Public funding may be used for campaign spending. There is subsidized access to the media for political parties and tax relief as a form of indirect public funding.

For regulations on spending, vote buying is banned. However there are no bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate or limits on the spending of political parties or candidates. 

Parties are required to provide annual accounts. The accounts must reveal the identity of donors and be made public.  Accounts are overseen by the Commission for the Oversight of Political Party Financing. There are sanctions for those breaching the provisions of the law in the form of fines, the loss of public funding and imprisonment.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Bans and limits on private income000
Public funding386262
Regulations on spending252525
Reporting, oversight and sanctions678383

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? No. If a political party receives an anonymous monetary contribution exceeding 1,000 euros, the portion exceeding the amount of 1,000 euros shall be transferred to the account of Our Minister designated for such purpose. If a political party receives an anonymous contribution in kind exceeding 1,000 euros, the portion or the counter-value exceeding the amount of 1,000 euros shall be transferred to Our Minister, or the contribution shall be destroyed. (Article 23, Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? No. Absent from legal framework

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? No. Absent from legal framework

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body Yes. Parties must win at least one seat in the first or second chamber in the last election (Art. 7, Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members Yes. Our Minister shall grant a subsidy, after an application to that effect, to a political party where, on the reference date, said party has more than 1,000 members who have right of assembly and vote in the political party and who each pay an annual contribution fee of not less than 12 euros. The membership is to be demonstrated by an explicit declaration of intent of the persons involved. (Article 7.‌1 Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal Yes. The subsidy shall not exceed the sum of the following amounts: a. a base sum of 173,240.82 euros, a sum of 50,247.81 euros per seat held by the political party and a sum per member of the political party equal to 1,896,891.33 euros divided by the total number of members of the political parties who receive a subsidy on the reference date; b. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated a political-scientific institute as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 2, a base sum of 121,675.08 euros and a sum of 12,506.55 euros per seat held by the political party; c. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated a political youth organization as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 3, a sum per seat held by the political party and a sum per member of the political youth organization, calculated in accordance with section two; d. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated an institution for foreign activities as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 4, a base sum and a sum per seat held by the political party, calculated in accordance with section three. 2. The sum per seat, as referred to in section one (c), is calculated by dividing 487,744.42 euros by the total number of seats held by the political parties which, on the reference date, have designated a political youth organization. The sum per member of the political youth organization is calculated by dividing 487,744.42 euros by the total number of members of all the designated political youth organizations. 3. The base sum, as referred to in section one (d), is calculated by dividing 623,833 euros by the total number of political parties which, on the reference date, have designated an institution for foreign activities. The sum per seat, as referred to in section one (d), is calculated by dividing 897,711 euros by the total number of seats held by political parties which, on the reference date, have designated an institution for foreign activities. 4. For the purposes of sections one to three, the reference date shall be taken as a starting point for the determination of the number of seats held by a political party, the number of members of a political party and the number of members of a political youth organization. 5. The amounts mentioned in sections one to three are to be reviewed on an annual basis on 1 January by ministerial decree, in accordance with the wage and price adjustments applied to the general state budget and rounded to the nearest whole number. (Article 8 Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received Yes. The subsidy shall not exceed the sum of the following amounts: a. a base sum of 173,240.82 euros, a sum of 50,247.81 euros per seat held by the political party and a sum per member of the political party equal to 1,896,891.33 euros divided by the total number of members of the political parties who receive a subsidy on the reference date; b. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated a political-scientific institute as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 2, a base sum of 121,675.08 euros and a sum of 12,506.55 euros per seat held by the political party; c. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated a political youth organization as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 3, a sum per seat held by the political party and a sum per member of the political youth organization, calculated in accordance with section two; d. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated an institution for foreign activities as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 4, a base sum and a sum per seat held by the political party, calculated in accordance with section three. 2. The sum per seat, as referred to in section one (c), is calculated by dividing 487,744.42 euros by the total number of seats held by the political parties which, on the reference date, have designated a political youth organization. The sum per member of the political youth organization is calculated by dividing 487,744.42 euros by the total number of members of all the designated political youth organizations. 3. The base sum, as referred to in section one (d), is calculated by dividing 623,833 euros by the total number of political parties which, on the reference date, have designated an institution for foreign activities. The sum per seat, as referred to in section one (d), is calculated by dividing 897,711 euros by the total number of seats held by political parties which, on the reference date, have designated an institution for foreign activities. 4. For the purposes of sections one to three, the reference date shall be taken as a starting point for the determination of the number of seats held by a political party, the number of members of a political party and the number of members of a political youth organization. 5. The amounts mentioned in sections one to three are to be reviewed on an annual basis on 1 January by ministerial decree, in accordance with the wage and price adjustments applied to the general state budget and rounded to the nearest whole number. (Article 8 Law on Financing of Political Parties (2013))
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other Yes. The subsidy shall not exceed the sum of the following amounts: a. a base sum of 173,240.82 euros, a sum of 50,247.81 euros per seat held by the political party and a sum per member of the political party equal to 1,896,891.33 euros divided by the total number of members of the political parties who receive a subsidy on the reference date; b. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated a political-scientific institute as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 2, a base sum of 121,675.08 euros and a sum of 12,506.55 euros per seat held by the political party; c. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated a political youth organization as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 3, a sum per seat held by the political party and a sum per member of the political youth organization, calculated in accordance with section two; d. where, on the reference date, the political party has designated an institution for foreign activities as a subsidiary institution, as provided for in article 4, a base sum and a sum per seat held by the political party, calculated in accordance with section three. 2. The sum per seat, as referred to in section one (c), is calculated by dividing 487,744.42 euros by the total number of seats held by the political parties which, on the reference date, have designated a political youth organization. The sum per member of the political youth organization is calculated by dividing 487,744.42 euros by the total number of members of all the designated political youth organizations. 3. The base sum, as referred to in section one (d), is calculated by dividing 623,833 euros by the total number of political parties which, on the reference date, have designated an institution for foreign activities. The sum per seat, as referred to in section one (d), is calculated by dividing 897,711 euros by the total number of seats held by political parties which, on the reference date, have designated an institution for foreign activities. 4. For the purposes of sections one to three, the reference date shall be taken as a starting point for the determination of the number of seats held by a political party, the number of members of a political party and the number of members of a political youth organization. 5. The amounts mentioned in sections one to three are to be reviewed on an annual basis on 1 January by ministerial decree, in accordance with the wage and price adjustments applied to the general state budget and rounded to the nearest whole number. (Article 8 Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending Yes. 2. The subsidy is granted for expenses directly related to the following activities: a. political training and educational activities; b. dissemination of information; c. maintaining contacts with sister parties in countries other than The Netherlands and supporting training and educational activities for the benefit of the supervisory staff of said parties; d. political-scientific activities; e. activities aimed at the promotion of the political participation of young people; f. member canvassing; g. involving non-members in activities of the political party; h. canvassing, selection and guidance of holders of political office; i. activities within the framework of election campaigns. (Art. 7.2. Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities Yes. 2. The subsidy is granted for expenses directly related to the following activities: a. political training and educational activities; b. dissemination of information; c. maintaining contacts with sister parties in countries other than The Netherlands and supporting training and educational activities for the benefit of the supervisory staff of said parties; d. political-scientific activities; e. activities aimed at the promotion of the political participation of young people; f. member canvassing; g. involving non-members in activities of the political party; h. canvassing, selection and guidance of holders of political office; i. activities within the framework of election campaigns. (Art. 7.2. Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution Yes. 2. The subsidy is granted for expenses directly related to the following activities: a. political training and educational activities; b. dissemination of information; c. maintaining contacts with sister parties in countries other than The Netherlands and supporting training and educational activities for the benefit of the supervisory staff of said parties; d. political-scientific activities; e. activities aimed at the promotion of the political participation of young people; f. member canvassing; g. involving non-members in activities of the political party; h. canvassing, selection and guidance of holders of political office; i. activities within the framework of election campaigns. (Art. 7.2. Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal Yes. 1. The Commissioner shall designate each year a number of hours on the general program channels of the national public service media to political parties at the last election of the members of the Lower or Upper House of Parliament one or more seats have acquired. 2. The Commissioner shall designate a number of hours on the general program channels of the national public service media to: a. Political parties participating in all constituencies in the election of the members of the House of Representatives; and b. political parties taking part in the Netherlands in the election of the Members of the European Parliament. (Article 6.‌1 Media Act, 2008 )
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief Yes. 6.32. Deductible donations are: a. regular donations; b. other gifts. 6.33. In this section and the provisions based thereon, the following definitions apply: a. gifts: bevoordelingen out of generosity and mandatory contributions where there is no direct consideration in return; b. settings: public benefit organizations; c. associations: not subject to corporation or its exempt associations with full legal and at least 25 members, established in a Member State of the European Union, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, a power designated by ministerial order or on the BES islands. (Art 6.32 and 6.33, Law on Income Tax , 2001)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. Absent from legal framework

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. 1. A person who, by means of a gift or promise, bribes a voter to give him a proxy authorisation to vote on his behalf shall be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a third-category fine. 2. A person who, by means of a gift or promise, bribes a voter or otherwise compels him to issue a declaration as referred to in section H 4, subsection 1, in support of a list, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a third-category fine. 3. A voter who allows himself to be bribed by means of a gift or promise to grant a proxy authorisation or issue a declaration of support shall be liable to the same penalty. (Section Z4(1), Elections Law, No.​ 28, 1989, amended 2009)
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? No. Absent from legal framework

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. 1. Prior to 1 July of each calendar year, a political party shall send the following to Our Minister: a. a financial report covering the preceding calendar year, comprising the data included in the records pursuant to article 20; b. a summary of contributions of 4,500 euros or more per donor and received by the party in that calendar year, with the data registered pursuant to article 21, section one; c. a summary of debts of 25,000 euros or more, with the data registered pursuant to article 21, section three, and d. the written declaration of the auditor, as referred to in section three. (Art 25, Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? No. Absent from legal framework
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? No. Absent from legal framework
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. Financial report provided to Our Minister are public. (Art.‌ 25.‌4 Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015 )
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? Yes. 1. Prior to 1 July of each calendar year, a political party shall send the following to Our Minister: a. a financial report covering the preceding calendar year, comprising the data included in the records pursuant to article 20; b. a summary of contributions of 4,500 euros or more per donor and received by the party in that calendar year, with the data registered pursuant to article 21, section one; c. a summary of debts of 25,000 euros or more, with the data registered pursuant to article 21, section three, and d. the written declaration of the auditor, as referred to in section three. (Art.‌ 25.‌1.‌b Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry Yes. 1. There shall be a supervisory committee on the finances of political parties, hereinafter referred to as: the committee. 2. The committee shall consist of three members. The members are appointed by Our Minister for a maximum period of four years. Members of the committee may be re-appointed a maximum of two times and for a maximum period of four years on each occasion. 3. The duty of the committee is to counsel Our Minister regarding the application of: a. article 5, section three; b. article 25, section five (3), article 28, section three (4), article 29, section four (4), article 30, section four (3) and article 32, section four (4), and c. article 37, section one. 4. The committee, for the purposes of the task referred to in section three (c) may counsel Our Minister as regards overseeing compliance with the present law. 5. Our Minister shall make available to the committee such data. as may be necessary for the proper fulfilment of its duties, whether or not such data is requested. 6. Rules governing the procedure of the committee may be established by or by virtue of an order in council. (Art. 35, Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose Yes. Supervisory committee on the finances of political parties (Art.35 , Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other Yes. 1. The supervision of compliance with the terms established by or by virtue of articles 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, sections three and four, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33, shall be incumbent upon such persons as are designated by order of Our Minister. (Art.36 , Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. 1. Our Minister may determine to impose an administrative penalty in respect of any act or omission which is in breach of that established by or by virtue of articles 20, section one, preamble and under b and (e), 21, sections one and three, 23, section one, 25, section one, preamble and under a, b, c and d, section two, 27, sections three and four, 28, section one, preamble and under a and b, and section two, 29, sections one, two and five, 30, section one or two, preamble and under a and b, 31, sections Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 2013 93 19 one, two and three, 32, section one or two, and 33, section one or two. 2. In section one, articles 30, 31, 32 and 33 are to be taken in connection with the provisions applied mutatis mutandis in these articles. 3. Fines may be imposed on the political party, the subsidiary institution, the association, referred to in article 31, or on the candidate, referred to in article 32. 4. In respect of any act or omission which is in breach of one of the article sections or parts thereof mentioned in section one, the fine applied shall be of a maximum of 25,000 euros. 1. Where a political party, is sentenced, on the basis of articles 137c, d, e, f, or g, or article 429 (4) of the Dutch Criminal Code, to pay a monetary fine, entitlement to any subsidy shall be cancelled ipso iure during a period starting on the day when the conviction becomes irrevocable. Said period shall be: a. one year, if the monetary fine is less than 1,125 euros; b. two years, if the monetary fine is 1,125 euros or more but less than 2,250 euros; c. three years, if the monetary fine is 2,250 euros or more but less than 3,375 euros, and d. four years, if the monetary fine is 3,375 euros or more. (Art. 37/39, Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding Yes. 2. If a political party is convicted for a terrorist offence as provided for in article 83 of the Dutch Criminal Code, entitlement to any subsidy shall be cancelled ipso iure for a period of four years starting on the day when the conviction becomes irrevocable. 3. If an association, on the day when the conviction, as provided for in section one or two, becomes irrevocable, is not eligible for a subsidy and this association, within a period of two years after this day, becomes eligible for a subsidy as a political party, its entitlement to a subsidy shall be cancelled ipso iure starting on the day when the party becomes eligible for a subsidy, for the period, as referred to in the section one or two. (Art. 39, Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal Yes. A person who, by means of a gift or promise, bribes a voter to give him a proxy authorisation to vote on his behalf shall be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a third-‌category fine.‌ (Section Z4(1), Elections Law, No.​ 28, 1989, amended 2009)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other Yes. 1. Where a political party, is sentenced, on the basis of articles 137c, d, e, f, or g, or article 429 (4) of the Dutch Criminal Code, to pay a monetary fine, entitlement to any subsidy shall be cancelled ipso iure during a period starting on the day when the conviction becomes irrevocable. Said period shall be: a. one year, if the monetary fine is less than 1,125 euros; b. two years, if the monetary fine is 1,125 euros or more but less than 2,250 euros; c. three years, if the monetary fine is 2,250 euros or more but less than 3,375 euros, and d. four years, if the monetary fine is 3,375 euros or more. (Art. 39, Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015)

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Law on Financing of Political Parties, 2013, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf
Elections Law, No.​ 28, 1989, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf
Law on Income Tax, 2001, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf
Media Act, 2008, amended 2015missing file:

Financial Disclosure

Dutch law makes no disclosure requirements for Ministers. According to the Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives (2014), Members of Parliament are required to disclose income from outside employment, received gifts, and any outside positions and interests, such as advisory positions. Meanwhile, the Law on Civil Servants (1929, last amended in 2014) asks Civil Servants to disclose any secondary positions they pursue and financial interests. Income or finances are not included in Civil Servants’ disclosure.

Members of Parliament make their statements annually, and directly upon changes. All the while, no sanctions are specified for MP’s violating disclosure laws. Meanwhile, Civil Servants declare interests ad hoc should any changes occur. Should they fail to make financial disclosure statements, Civil Servants may face a fine or administrative sanctions. While the Secretary General of the respective Chamber receives statements made by MPs, the respective Minister functions as depository body for Civil Servants. No financial disclosure statements are made publicly available. However, the House of Representatives voluntarily publishes MPs declarations. 

(Note: The Head of State is a monarch and thus exempted from disclosure laws.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Disclosure items111111
Filing frequency191919
Sanctions888
Monitoring and Oversight121212
Public access to declarations121212

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State000
Ministers000
Members of Parliament303030
Civil servants202020

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Movable assets No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Cash No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Loans and Debts No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Holding government contracts No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Post-employment No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Filing required annually No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Timing of information release specified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Location(s) of access specified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Cost of access specified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. 0
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Members of the House of Representatives are required to report their outside positions and interests, with the yearly income or expected income from these positions. Members of the Senate must disclose their outside positions interests. (Art. 150a Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives (2014) Art. 3b, Law on the Renumeration of Members of the First Chamber (1995, last amended 2015))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Members of the States General are not subject to any restrictions from accepting gifts. Members of the House of Representatives (Second Chamber) have to register gifts which have a value in excess of 50EUR, as well as foreign travel at the invitation of third parties . No reporting requirements for members of Senate (GRECO Evaluation Report Netherlands 2012, para 39). ( Art. 150a Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives (2014))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Members of the House of Representatives are required to report their outside positions and interests, with the yearly income or expected income from these positions. Members of the Senate must disclose their outside positions interests. (Art. 150a Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives (2014) Art. 3b, Law on the Renumeration of Members of the First Chamber (1995, last amended 2015))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Members of the House of Representatives are required to report their outside positions and interests, with the yearly income or expected income from these positions. Members of the Senate must disclose their outside positions interests.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. "[...], there are no rules preventing MPs from engaging in accessory activities. On the contrary, such activities are generally welcomed, as they demonstrate that MPs are involved in society. That said, members are required to report their outside positions and interests to the offices of the Secretary General of their Chamber [...]." (GRECO Evaluation Report Netherlands, 2012, para. 45). ( Art. 150a Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives (2014))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. The elected MPs or their agents, before taking up their duties, must file with the representative assembly a declaration disclosing all public offices they hold. (Article 57, Constitution (1815, last amendend in 2008) Section V3, Elections Act (1989, last amended in 2015))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually Yes. MPs in the House of Representatives are required to declare their outside income no later than the first April following the calendar year within which the income was received. (GRECO Evaluation Report Netherlands, 2012, para. 53) ( Art. 150a Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives (2014))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. MPs in the House of Represenatives shall declare any secondary activities within one week of beginning the activity. ( Art. 150a Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives (2014))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The Secretary General of the respective Chamber is assigned to received conflict of interest declarations. (Art. 150a Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives (2014) Art. 3b, Law on the Renumeration of Members of the First Chamber (1995, last amended 2015))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Registered gifts and travels can be consulted on the website of the House of representatives. The register of senators’ accessory activities is available at the Secretary General’s office for the inspection of the media and the public and is also published on the Senate website 19 under the CV of each member (GRECO Evaluation Report Netherlands, 2012, para. 39 & 54)
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified Yes. 0
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. The Dutch Law on Civil Servants demands the disclosure of secondary activities and financial interests that may affect the fulfillment of their duties as civil servants. (Art. 125quinquies, Law on Civil Servants (1929, last amended in 2015))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. The Dutch Law on Civil Servants demands the disclosure of secondary activities and financial interests that may affect the fulfillment of their duties as civil servants. (Art. 125quinquies, Law on Civil Servants (1929, last amended in 2015))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. The Dutch Law on Civil Servants demands the disclosure of secondary activities and financial interests that may affect the fulfillment of their duties as civil servants. (Art. 125quinquies, Law on Civil Servants (1929, last amended in 2015))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. The Dutch Law on Civil Servants demands the disclosure of secondary activities and financial interests that may affect the fulfillment of their duties as civil servants. A Dutch civil servants cannot supply services to third parties without official permission. Secondary activities have to be disclosed. (Art. 125quinquies, Law on Civil Servants (1929, last amended in 2015) Art. 61 & 62 , General Rules for Civil Servants of the Kingdom (1931, last amended in 2015))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Secondary activities and financial interests shall be reported to the respective Minister. (Art. 61, General Rules for Civil Servants of the Kingdom (1931, last amended in 2015))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. If a civil servant does not fulfil his duty he can be sanctioned by fines and administrative procedures. (Art. 363, Penal Code (1881, last amended in 2015) Art. 80, General Rules for Civil Servants of the Kingdom (1931, last amended in 2015))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. Secondary activities and financial interests shall be reported to the respective Minister. (Art. 61, General Rules for Civil Servants of the Kingdom (1931, last amended in 2015))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Constitution, amended 2008 (English)pdf
Elections Act, 1989, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf
General Rules for Civil Servants of the Kingdom 1931, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf
Law on Civil Servants 1929, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf
Law on the Renumeration of Members of the First Chamber, 1995, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf
Penal Code, 2015 (Dutch)pdf
Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives, 2014 (English)pdf

Conflict of Interest

Few legislative restrictions govern conflicts of interests for Dutch public officials. For Ministers and Members of Parliament, the Constitution (2008) only specifies that simultaneously holding a policy-making and policy-executing position is not allowed. Civil Servants are only restricted from accepting any gifts as to the Law on Civil Servants (1929, amended in 2014). There are no limits as to secondary employment that can be pursued, or as to participating in decisions that affect private interests. 

In line with the few requirements made, the law specifies no sanctions for public officials who violate existing rules on conflicts of interests. Additionally, the Netherlands does not have monitoring or enforcement bodies to provide guidance or supervise conflicts of interests. 

(Note: The Head of State is a monarch and thus exempted from conflicts of interests laws.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Restrictions585
Sanctions000
Monitoring and Oversight000

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State000
Ministers333
Members of Parliament333
Civil servants030

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Accepting gifts No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Holding government contracts No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Post-employment No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. The office of a Minister or Secretary of State is incompatible with membership of the States General, which until about decision is taken. (Article 57(3) of the Constitution (last amended 2014))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Noone may be a member of both chambers. A member of the States General may not be a Minister of State, Member of the Board State, Member of the Court of Audit, National Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman, member or Attorney General or Advocate General at the Supreme Court. If a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate is appointed to an office his membership of the House or Senate shall be terminated automatically. (Article 57(1-2) of the Constitution (last amended 2014) Section X3 (1) of the Elections Act (1989, amended in 2009))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Constitution, amended 2014 (Dutch)pdf
Elections Act, 1989, amended 2009 (English)pdf
Law on Civil Servants 1929, amended 2014missing file:
Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives, 2014 (English)pdf

Freedom of Information

Netherland’s right to information is affirmed in the Constitution (2008), and the Public Access to Information Act (1991, amended 2009) lays out the implementing measures for the legal framework. The FOI law applies to ministers, the administrative bodies of provinces, municipalities, water and industrial organizations, and private bodies that carry out public functions.

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI law, Protection of State Secrets Law (1951), and Personal Data Protection Act (2000). However, there is a public interest test whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where the public interest outweighs the prohibition on disclosure. 

Appeals may be filed with public authorities and with the courts. There is no appeals process through an independent non-judicial mechanism, such as an information commissioner.   

There are no sanctions specified in the law for violations of FOI provisions, nor are there any enforcement or oversight bodies tasked with managing implementation.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope and Coverage737373
Information access and release757575
Exceptions and Overrides838383
Sanctions for non-compliance000
Monitoring and Oversight000

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access Yes. In the exercise of their duties government bodies shall observe the right of public access to information in accordance with rules to be prescribed by Act of Parliament. (Article 110, Constitution of Netherlands, 2008)
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. a. document: a written document or other material containing data which is deposited with an administrative authority; b. administrative matter: a matter of relevance to the policies of an administrative authority, including the preparation and implementation of such policies; (Section 1 Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. Proactive disclosure of certain types of information is specified. Administrative authorities covered by the law shall proactively provide information on policy and the preparation and implementation thereof, whenever the provision of such information is in the interests of effective, democratic governance. The information should be in a comprehensible form and be presented in such a way as to reach the interested party and as many interested members of the public as possible in time for them to make their views known to the administrative authority in good time. Policy recommendations received from independent advisory committees, together with the requests for advice and proposals made to the advisory committees by an administrative authority, shall be made public where necessary, possibly with explanatory note within four weeks from receipt. (Section 8 and Section 9 Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. This Act applies to the following governing bodies: a. Ministers; . b the administrative bodies of provinces, municipalities, water and industrial organizations; . c administrative bodies acting under the responsibility of the bodies referred to under a and b; d. other administrative bodies, unless exempted by order in council. (Section 1a Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)
Legislative branch No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Judicial branch No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Other public bodies No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Private sector Yes. Private bodies which carry out public functions are covered by the law. (Section 3(1) Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments No. As the legislature is not covered by the FOIA, draft legal instruments are not available to the public by law. In practice they are often published by the government for discussion. ( )
Enacted legal instruments Yes. An Act of Parliament shall not enter into force before it has been published in the Staatsblad (Official Gazette). (Article 88 Constitution of Netherlands, 2008 )
Annual budgets Yes. A Budget Bill setting out the central government budget is presented to parliament on the third Tuesday of September each year and should be passed into law by 1 January of the following year. Since the Executive is covered by the FOIA, the annual budgets should also be available through this. (Chapter 1, Division 3, Section 12 Government Accounts Act 2001 Section 1a Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. On the third Wednesday in May, the ministerial and non-ministerial annual reports audited by the Court of Audit, as well as the central government annual financial report audited by the Court of Audit for the previous year, are forwarded to the House of Representatives. The central government annual financial report is also forwarded to the Senate. Since the Executive is covered by the FOIA, the annual budgets should also be available through this. (Chapter 5, Section 63 Government Accounts Act 2001 Section 1a Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009 )
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. On the third Wednesday in May, the ministerial and non-ministerial annual reports audited by the Court of Audit, as well as the central government annual financial report audited by the Court of Audit for the previous year are forwarded to the House of Representatives. The central government annual financial report is also forwarded to the Senate. The annual financial reports contain information on operational and policy matters. Since the Executive is covered by the FOIA, the annual budgets should also be available through this. (Chapter 5, Section 58 and Section 63 Government Accounts Act 2001 Section 1a Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. The law stipulates that "anyone" may make an information request. ( Section 3(1) Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. Charges for copying are specified in a separate Decree. Up to six copies is free, 6-13 copies cost €4.50 and over 13 copies is €0.35 per copy. (Article 2(2) Decree of 5 February 1993 on the charges under the Freedom of Information Act)

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline Yes. The administrative authority must decide on the application for information at the earliest possible opportunity, and in any event no more than two weeks after the date of receipt of the application. ( Section 6 Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. The administrative authority may defer the decision for no more than a further two weeks. The applicant shall be notified in writing, with reasons, of the deferment before the first two-week period has elapsed. ( Section 6 Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days Yes. The maximum response time is four weeks. ( Section 6 Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law Yes. There is a state secrets law. The Penal Code also has a section on violation of secrets. (Protection of State Secrets Law 1951 Part XVII Penal Code)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. The Constitution provides that everyone shall have the right to respect for his privacy, without prejudice to restrictions laid down by or pursuant to an Act of Parliament. The Personal Data Protection Act covers processing of and access to personal data. (Article 10(1) Constitution Personal Data Protection Act 2000, amended 2015)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. Information is exempted from disclosure for a variety of reasons include in if; it might endanger the unity of the Crown or damage the security of the State; the data relates to companies and manufacturing processes and were furnished to the government in confidence by natural or legal persons. Nor shall disclosure of information take place insofar as its importance does not outweigh one of the following: international relations; economic and financial interests of the State, other bodies constituted under public law or the administrative authorities; the investigation of criminal offences and the prosecution of offenders; inspection, control and oversight by administrative authorities; respect for personal privacy; the importance to the addressee of being the first to note the information; prevention of disproportionate advantage or disadvantage to the natural or legal persons concerned or to third parties; personal data without the consent of the data subject, state secrets, information classified under the Nuclear Energy Act; privacy; certain types of environmental information. (Section 10 Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009 Article 8 and Article 17(3) Personal Data Protection Act 2000 Section 98 Penal Code Protection of State Secrets Act 1951)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities Yes. Those who are not satisfied with the decision on an application for information can apply for reconsideration under the auspices of the administrative authority that refused the request. (Secton 6.4 and Section 7.1 General Administrative Law Act 1994)
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. If the outcome of an internal appeal is unsatisfactory, an appeal can be made to the administrative sector of the District Court for a court judgment. If that is unsatisfactory, it is possible to launch an appeal to the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State. (Secton 8.1 and Section 8.9 General Administrative Law Act 1994)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required No. Absent from legal framework

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Constitution of Netherlands, 2008 (English)pdf
Public Access to Information Act 1991, amended 2009 (Dutch)pdf
Government Accounts Act, 2001, amended 2014 (Dutch)pdf
Decree of 5 February 1993 on the charges under the Freedom of Information Act (Dutch)pdf
Protection of State Secrets Law, 1951, amended 2012 (Dutch)pdf
Penal Code (Dutch)pdf
Personal Data Protection Act 2000, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf
General Administrative Law Act, 1994, amended 2015 (Dutch)pdf

Public Procurement

The Dutch public procurement system is regulated by the Public Procurement Decree (Aanbestedingswet) and the Proportionality Guide (Proportionaliteitsgids), and several further sector specific regulations. The public procurement body is the Autoriteit Consument en Markt which is an independent organization.

There is no minimum threshold at the national level for conducting a public procurement tender, hence the effective thresholds come from the EU regulation:

EUR 134000 for goods

EUR 5186000 for works

EUR 134000 for services 

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures and 3 for negotiated procedures and competitive dialogue. The minimum submission period is 45 days for open procedures, 40 days for restricted procedures and 30 for negotiated procedures from dispatch date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is a possibility for preferential treatment: SMEs can be preferred, and there are specific rules for green/sustainable procurement.

There are also several options for bid exclusion: participation in criminal organization, money laundering, convictions regarding professional capacity/misconduct, outstanding tax or social security liabilities, and false information in the bid. Bids can be also excluded because of abnormally low bid prices.

In the bid evaluation phase, there are conflict of interest restrictions on the composition of the evaluation committee. There is also a requirement that some part of the evaluation committee be independent of the contracting authority.

There is no indication neither of a payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure, nor that court decisions must be publicly released.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope3737
Information availability7777
Evaluation6767
Open competition8181
Institutional arrangements3838

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) EUR 134000. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.2)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) EUR 5186000. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.2)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 134000. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.2)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) EUR 134000. 0 (from EU directives)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) EUR 134000. 0 (from EU directives)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) EUR 418000. 0 (from EU directives)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) EUR 134000. 0 (from EU directives)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) EUR 5186000. EUR 1,000,000 (excl. VAT) (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.18 )
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 134000. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.18 )

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Which are the documents which are published in full? On the electronic buyer profile following information are published: information relating to announcements, ongoing invitations to tender, scheduled purchases, contracts awarded, canceled procedures and useful general information, such as a contact point, a telephone and fax number, a postal address and an email address.. 0 (Aanbstedingswet (2012), Art. 2.61)
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? yes. tender.ned (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 1.18, Art. 2.59)
Is it mandatory to keep these records? Public notices of bidding opportunities, Bidding documents and addenda, Bid opening records, Bid evaluation reports, Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, Claims and dispute resolutions, Final payments, Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) yes. Contract authorities have to treasure their administration (public records law)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published? no. Only the selection of companies will be published, not the agreements resulting from the selection. (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.44)

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors in some cases? yes. 0 (Aabestendingswet (2012), Art. 2.79, Art. 2.132)
If yes, above what proportion of subcontracted value is it mandatory? 0

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or products in tender specification/call for tender? yes. tech specs shall afford equal access for tenderers and not create unjustified obstacles to the opening up of public procurement to competition (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.75)
Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? yes. participation in criminal organisation, money laundering, convictions regarding professional capacity/misconduct, outstanding tax or social security contributions, serious misrepresentation of info in the bid (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.86, 2.87)
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? yes. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 1.5, 2.75)
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) no. equal access for tenderers and not create unjustified obstacles to the opening up of public procurement to competition (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.75)
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? yes. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2.76.1.b)
Are some bids automatically excluded such as lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. yes. abnormally low price (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2116)

Bid evaluation

Is scoring criteria published and explicit? yes. lowest price or MEAT (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2114)
Can evaluation decision be made by a single person (as opposed to a committee)? no. Jury (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2160)
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? yes. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2161)
If yes, what is banned? not specified. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 2161)
Is some part of evaluation comitee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? yes. Commission of procurement experts. (www.commissievanaanbestedingsexperts.nl) (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art.4.27)
Are scoring results recorded and publicly available? no. See 2.130. Only own results avaible for participants.
Under which conditions can the tender be cancelled? Wide decision range . 0

Open competition

CFT publication

Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: OPEN) national electronic procurement system (on a buyer profile) and the forwarded to European electronic public procurement system. TenderNed (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 1.18, Art. 2.59, Art. 2.60, Art. 2.61)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) national electronic procurement system (on a buyer profile) and the forwarded to European electronic public procurement system. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 1.18, Art. 2.59, Art. 2.60, Art. 2.61)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) national electronic procurement system (on a buyer profile) and the forwarded to European electronic public procurement system. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 1.18, Art. 2.59, Art. 2.60, Art. 2.61)

Minimum # of bidders

If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? RESTRICTED 5. 0 (Aanbstedingswet (2012), Art. 2.99)
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? NEGOTIATED 3. (Aanbstedingswet (2012), Art. 2.99)
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? COMPETITIVE DIALOGUE 3. (Aanbstedingswet (2012), Art. 2.99)

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: OPEN) 45. There are possibilities to reduce this period (Aanbstedingswet (2012), Art. 2.71)
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) 40. There are possibilities to reduce this period (Aanbstedingswet (2012), Art. 2.71)
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) 30. There are possibilities to reduce this period (Aanbstedingswet (2012), Art. 2.71)

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

What are the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? Subsidy trails, defence contracts, international agreements. 0
What are the main types of institutions which have to apply the public procurement law? the State, county , municipality, water board or a public institution or a cooperative of these authorities or public institutions. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 1.1)
What are the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted by law? Open tender procedure ("openbare procedure) Restricted tender procedure ("niet-openbare procedure") Negotiated tender procedure ("Onderhandelingsprocedure") Competitive dialogue tender procedure (" concurrentiegerichte dialoog") . 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Chapter 3.2.)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? yes. Commission of Procurement Experts (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 4.26)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? yes. Autoriteit Consument en Markt (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 1.1 Instellingswet Autoriteit Consument en Markt, Art. 2)
Is the procurement regulatory body independent? Yes.
Is the procurement advisors' profession legally defined (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering procedure described (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? no. 0 (Aanbestedingswet (2012), Art. 4.22)
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? no. 0

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Not specified. The term arbitrage is not a established term in the Netherlands. There is the Commission of Procurement Experts, and a court that handles arbitration.
If yes, how much Not specified. 0
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? Not specified. 0
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint? Varies.
Are arbitration court decisions required to be publicly released? yes. www.rechtspraak.nl

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Aanbestedingswet (2012)missing file:
Aanbestedingswet (2016)missing file: