Increased intergovernmental information sharing to prevent criminal abuse of legal structures

Government bodies will be given greater authority to share information about the possible criminal abuse of legal decisions and orders, public contracts and property transactions. This is intended to protect the integrity of government bodies against the blending of the underworld with legitimate business. This is the essence of a bill to amend the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act (Wet Bibob) concerned with promoting probity screening by public authorities. Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, and Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, are submitting this bill to the House of Representatives today.

Government bodies can use the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act to create barriers against them unwittingly facilitating criminal organisations, by refusing or revoking decisions and orders, public contracts or property transactions if there is a risk that these may be abused for criminal activities. With the extension of the Act, it will become possible for government bodies to share information about the risk of criminal abuse. This will prevent individuals with criminal intent from making headway when they approach various government bodies until they find one that does not apply the Act, or that makes a faulty risk assessment when the relevant risk indications are disguised.

The National Public Administration Probity Screening Agency (Landelijk Bureau Bibob, LBB) will soon be able to check whether screening investigations by other government bodies have revealed a serious risk that decisions, orders, government contracts or property transactions will be misused to commit criminal offences. At present, it is only possible to request information concerning screening investigations conducted by the LBB itself. Information can also be shared on the risks surrounding certain business relationships of an involved party, such as a capital provider or a principal party in a front-man construction.

In addition, it will become possible to apply the Act to environmental permits for environment plan activities, as well as permits based on water board by-laws and the disposal of a right of superficies. This can prevent existing or new owners from using buildings or land to launder criminally acquired assets or to carry out certain criminal activities, such as human trafficking or drug production.