More Transparency in Decision-Making Through Volgdewet.Nl Legislation-Tracking Website (NL0007)
Action Plan: Netherlands Action Plan 2013-2014
Action Plan Cycle: 2013
Lead Institution: Netwerk Democratie
Support Institution(s): NA
Policy AreasAccess to Information, Democratizing Decision-Making, E-Government, Open Data, Open Parliaments, Participation in Lawmaking, Public Participation, Regulatory Governance
The legislation-tracking website volgdewet.nl (literally: ‘followthelaw.nl’) is an initiative of Netwerk Democratie and an example of grass-roots action aimed at making government processes more transparent. The website shows how current legislation comes into being, in an effort to demonstrate to people how they can influence the legislative process. Among other things, it uses open data from wetten.nl (‘laws.nl’).
A report by the research and documentation centre of the Ministry of Security and Justice concluded that the Dutch government is very transparent. However, it is difficult for citizens and interest groups that do not encounter legislation every day to fathom what exactly happens in the process, and thus to have any influence over it.
Netwerk Democratie believes that the Netherlands must also create scope for this kind of interaction and hopes that volgdewet.nl will prompt a trend towards more interactive legislative procedures starting at the grassroots. This initiative therefore differs from the legislative calendar since Volg de Wet will include background information and explanations of various pieces of legislation under development. The relevant parties can communicate their involvement in specific legislative processes, thus creating more support. It has also been suggested that the website invite citizens to come up with ideas and make their influence felt.