At the beginning of 2022, Arre Zuurmond was appointed as Government Commissioner for Information Management. The immediate reason for the appointment was the report on the Dutch childcare benefits scandal, in which the authorities wrongly accused many thousands of parents of fraud. The report harshly criticised the government’s information management, characterising the problem as deeply entrenched. On his appointment, the commissioner said he saw this as a stimulus for him to pursue radical improvements in governance by initiating irreversible change.
Government information management can only function properly if it facilitates responsive governance, Zuurmond says, with the government standing side by side with its citizens rather than opposite them. But how can this happen, and what form of information management is appropriate? What new perspectives can help put people at the centre of government information? What is needed to ensure that this information is always at the service of society? How can we arrange this? These are the issues we will be exploring in this session. Arre Zuurmond is currently working on an ambitious project to design new regulatory legislation. Maike Klip conducts action research on the question of how we can realise public services that work for people.
The session will be moderated by Serv Wiemers, director of the Open State Foundation, a civil society organisation that contributes to a digitally transparent government and thus an accountable and vital democracy.