Public Administration Act (Bibob) will be extended to intensify the fight against organized crime

Real estate transactions in which authorities are involved as aggrieved parties will come under the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act (Bibob). This will prevent authorities from getting involved in transactions with mala fide parties unintentionally. Operating gaming machines, running a headshop, importing fireworks and organizing combat sport events requiring local permits will also fall under the scope of Bibob. Minister Opstelten announced this today during a working visit to Amsterdam.

Under the current Bibob legislation authorities (especially local authorities) may examine a company’s or a person’s record before a permit or a subsidy is granted or a public contract is awarded. In the event of a criminal record or obscure financial structures the permit, the subsidy or contract may be refused. In this way it is prevented that authorities support criminal activities unintentionally and that the underworld infiltrates legitimate business. When examining the record of a company or private person local authorities may call on the services of the Bibob Agency, which gives advice.

The Bibob legislation only applies to certain sectors and activities: to catering licenses, building permits, permits to dispose of waste and transport licences for transport companies, housing corporations, cannabis coffee shops, brothels and smartshops and growshops. For public tenders the Bibob legislation applies to the building, environmental protection and ICT sectors. The proposed extension will widen the scope of Bibob to include operating gaming machines, importing fireworks, running headshops and real estate transactions with authorities.

Several improvements and adjustments will make Bibob more accessible to local authorities and will give companies and persons better legal protection.

  • Administrative bodies and legal entities with a government task may directly receive judicial data and criminal records from the agencies involved for their decision-making in the Bibob sectors.
  • Administrative bodies and legal entities with a government task may inquire with the Bibob agency whether companies or private persons have been previously subjected to a Bibob investigation.
  • The RIECs (Regional Information and Expertise Centres) may request inspection of the Bibob files to assist local authorities in applying the Bibob regulations.
  • The period for the national Bibob Agency to give advice will be extended from four to eight weeks, with a renewal option of four weeks.
  • Many local authorities use external complaints committees in objection proceedings. These external committees will also be allowed to receive a copy of the Bibob advice of the national Bibob Agency.
  • Parties who object to the refusal of a permit, subsidy or contract will be allowed to receive a copy of the advice of the national Bibob Agency.

The legislative proposal will be submitted to the Lower House shortly.