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Netherlands Results Report 2020-2022

The Netherlands’ fourth Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan saw advancements in transparency of political parties’ financing. Preliminary work was also carried out in open contracting and in finding the right balance between government transparency and confidentiality. Going forward, it is important to ensure that OGP action plans support broader open government reforms in the Netherlands.

Early Results

The Netherlands’ fourth action plan included 13 commitments.[1] It built on some policy areas from the previous plan, including political party financing, digital democracy, freedom of information, open contracting, and government algorithms. It also introduced new topics such as electoral transparency, plain language in government, and publishing open data for public complaints.

Several promising commitments in the IRM Action Plan Review saw early results.[2] Commitment 1 had major early results in political party financing transparency. Amendments to the Political Parties Financing Act lowered the threshold for disclosing donations to parties and set bans on donations to political parties from abroad. However, the amendments did not address the topic of digital campaigning and have not closed certain loopholes in financing political parties. Commitment 7 saw important preliminary discussions to resolve tensions around “policy intimacy” (where government information that includes the personal opinions of public officials on policies does not have to be disclosed). Commitment 9 has made it easier to find and access existing procurement data by linking different portals in one register. The IRM also noted improvements in other areas, including the transparency of election results (Commitment 2) and digital democracy (Commitment 3).


Despite internal changes and competing priorities within the government, levels of completion remained high. Ten of the 13 commitments saw substantial or full implementation. This was similar to the third action plan (2018-2020), which had eight of 11 commitments substantially or fully implemented.[3] Most of the commitments identified as promising in the IRM Action Plan Review were at least substantially completed. An exception was Commitment 13, which was not completed because the platform that would host the data on public complaints was not created. This also prevented the completion of Commitment 4.

Given the wish to bring together various efforts in one commitment, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations found it challenging at times to define the commitments as specifically as possible. This sometimes made it difficult for the IRM to determine the precise level of completion for commitments and if they led to early results.

Participation and Co-Creation

The fourth action plan saw an extensive co-creation process that involved numerous meetings and a variety of new government agencies and civil society stakeholders. During implementation, the OGP portfolio moved within the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, leading to a lack of continuity in some commitments. Nonetheless, the multi-stakeholder forum (MSF) met regularly during implementation. Overall, stakeholders were satisfied with the level of engagement, despite challenges related to staff turnover and shifting responsibilities of civil servants following the adoption of the Open Government Act (Woo) in May 2022.

During the adoption of the action plan, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations launched an umbrella network called the Open Government Alliance to convene government and civil society stakeholders working in the open government space (including but not limited to those involved in OGP). In 2022, the ministry decided to merge the Open Government Alliance with a separate coalition “Talking about Information”, which includes civil society, government, business, and academia. On 17 November 2022, the civil society coalition presented a manifesto with recommendations regarding the information relationship between government and citizens, which are being discussed for the fifth action plan.

Implementation in context

Implementation was impacted by the entry into force of the Woo and by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Woo requires (even more than previous legislation) proactive, voluntary disclosure of government information. It also provides for an “Advisory Committee on Public Access and Information Management” in which civil society and other stakeholders are represented. These changes required much preparatory work in the government. Parts of this work were already included in the action plan and benefited from financial support in relation to the Woo. At the same time, the search for how to best shape the new open government work led to shifts in personnel involved in OGP commitments. Moreover, the IT infrastructure needed for central access to government information did not arrive in time, and the arrival of the Woo, although increasing the need to work on this, did not resolve this challenge.

[1] Open Government Partnership, Netherlands Action Plan 2020-2022,

[2] Open Government Partnership, Netherlands Action Plan Review 2020-2022,

[3] Open Government Partnership, Transitional Results Report 2018-2020,


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