Government wants more focus on public interests during privatisations

The government wants public interests to be considered more fully when government services are privatised or semi-privatised. In future, the decision framework proposed by the Senate will be used as a checklist to ensure that parliament is adequately informed in advance. The cabinet took this decision at the proposal of the Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector, Stef Blok.

The decision was taken in response to two reports published on this subject last year. The Senate investigation committee on privatising or semi-privatising government services concluded in its report 'Broken link?' (October 2012 ) that past privatisations had not taken sufficient account of the public interest and that the public interest had been interpreted too narrowly. The Advisory Council on Government Policy (WRR) noted in its report on 'Public Interests in a Market Society' (April 2012) that the government had problems safeguarding public interests in its efforts to expand the role of the market and curtail the role of government.