Improving internal checks and balances in semi-public organisations

Semi-public organisations need a better system of internal dissent and contradiction. Good internal checks and balances are essential for this, the WRR argues in its report Improving internal checks and balances in semi-public organisations (Report no. 91, 2014).

Three lines of defence

In the existing governance model of semi-public institutions, this internal counterbalance has to come mainly from the supervisory board. The WRR advocates strengthening this two-tier model – board of management and supervisory board – by making wider use of ‘third parties’, such as controllers and civil society stakeholders, who could enhance the self-regulating capacity of institutions and safeguard their public legitimacy.

A governance framework as a safety net

The supervisory board and the board of management are primarily responsible for establishing effective internal checks and balances. They can be helped in this process by the relevant trade associations and professional organisations (development of ‘best practices’) and encouraged by the external regulator. If self-regulation proves inadequate, the government could draft a binding framework for ‘good governance’ in the sector.