Government reaction to WRR reports 'Supervising public interests' and 'From diptych to triangles'

The Cabinet has put forward seven proposals to improve government supervision following the publication of two WRR reports.

Supervising public interests

The report ‘Supervising public interests’ (Toezien op publieke belangen) (WRR report 89) is of great value for several reasons, including its description of the key supervisory trends in recent years, in which the Cabinet recognises its own role. The report is also important because it places the central focus on the question of what constitutes good supervision. Finally, the Cabinet welcomes the recommendation in the report that the public interest be taken as the starting point when considering the organisation, configuration and function of supervision.

Internal checks and balances

In its reaction to WRR report 91, ‘From diptych to triangles’ (Van tweeluiken naar driehoeken), the Cabinet states that the key value of the report lies in the options that it offers administrators, supervisors and other stakeholders to strengthen internal supervision and the internal countervailing power within semi-public organisations.

Seven proposals

Based on these two WRR reports, the Cabinet has put forward seven proposals for improving government supervision:

  • The Cabinet wishes to place greater emphasis on ensuring that public interests are effectively secured within supervision.
  • The Cabinet will continue to look critically at the need for and usefulness of new rules and will resist the ‘risk/rule reflex’ to the best of its ability.
  • The Cabinet will strike a good balance between the envisaged benefits of supervision and the personnel deployment, and will evaluate this.
  • The Cabinet calls on supervisors to report on the effects and effectiveness of their actions, and will assess supervisors on that basis.
  • The Cabinet favours more dialogue and interaction to resolve frictions between policy and supervision and calls on supervisors to make greater use of force field analysis.
  • The Cabinet will adopt a standpoint on the scope for ensuring independence of supervisors in the light of a project carried out on this topic as part of the Civil Service Reform Agenda.
  • The Cabinet will make efforts in the coming years to explain more clearly to the public what supervision is for and to make the societal benefits of supervision more transparent.