Making a complaint

Central government aims to provide the best possible service. If, despite our efforts, you are not satisfied, please let us know.

Complaints about central government

The websites and are the joint websites for all ministries. If you have any questions about either website, please contact the Public Information Service at the Ministry of General Affairs.

If you have a complaint about the way you have been treated by the Public Information Service or a ministry, you can make a complaint by phone or in writing.

If you have a complaint about another government organisation, like the Tax and Customs Administration or Rijkswaterstaat, you can complain to the organisation in question.

Making a complaint about the Public Information Service or a ministry

You can make a complaint about ministries or the Public Information Service by phoning 1400 (or +31 (0)77 465 6767 from outside the Netherlands).

There are two ways to submit a complaint in writing:

  • Email or letter

    You can use the contact form, specifying under ‘Subject’ that it is a complaint. You can also send a letter to the postal address of the ministry in question.
  • Applications

    Written complaints which meet certain criteria are known as applications. An application contains the substance of the complaint, the name and address of the person lodging the complaint, the date and a signature. Please send your complaint to the postal address of the ministry in question. Processing your complaint may involve a formal procedure.

If you are submitting a written complaint or an application, we ask you to provide your telephone number. It is not a requirement, but it would allow us to contact you for further information or to clarify certain matters.

Processing your complaint

Central government must exercise due care when processing complaints made by phone or in writing. What that entails will depend on each individual case. Central government may contact you by phone to clarify matters. This may be sufficient to settle the complaint, but only if you are fully satisfied.

Formal procedure

Applications may be dealt with formally or informally. If your complaint has been settled to your satisfaction by phone or in writing, no formal procedure is necessary.

If your application cannot be dealt with informally, or you are not satisfied with the informal procedure, central government must follow the formal procedure. This entails the following:

  • You will receive written confirmation of your complaint.
  • An official who was not involved in the matter of your complaint will deal with the complaint.
  • Both the complainant and the complainee are given the opportunity to be heard, unless the complainant wishes to waive this right.

Complaints are generally dealt with within 6 weeks, but there are exceptions. If an advisor or an advisory committee is involved, the period is 10 weeks. The complaints procedures are described in detail in the Internal Right of Complaint booklet (in Dutch) of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

Unsatisfied with the outcome

If you are unsatisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with or with the outcome, you can lodge a complaint with the National Ombudsman.

Reporting complaints about tender procedures

There is a separate complaints procedure for tender procedures, and each ministry has its own reporting centre for these complaints. To make a complaint, please contact the ministry in question.