Amended Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act to come into force
The amendment to the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act (Wet Bibob) is set to take effect on 1 August 2020, which will strengthen the approach to subversion. In this way, Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus and Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker hope to prevent the government from unwittingly facilitating criminal activity. An amendment to the Judicial Data and Criminal Records Decree (Besluit justitiële en strafvorderlijke gegevens, Bjsg) will also come into force on the same date.
Both regulations ensure that municipalities, provinces and the central government will be even better able to do their own screening under the Wet Bibob. As from 1 August, they will be able to examine the judicial records of persons who have actual control behind the scenes over the individual who has applied for a permit. This capacity will make it easier to prevent the front men from misusing government services on behalf of criminals, in addition to the criminals themselves. The measure also applies to the business contacts of the government's counterparties in property transactions or public contracts. In the past, judicial details could only be provided about the government's counterparty – usually the permit applicant – but not about the counterparty's business contacts.
Public contracts of considerable social or market value are susceptible to criminal activity. Screening under the Wet Bibob will therefore be expanded to include all public contracts and will no longer be limited to the construction, IT as well as environmental sectors.
Moreover, the screening under the Wet Bibob will be expanded to include property transactions for the transfer of a ground lease, provided that the municipality has stipulated a consent requirement for this transfer. The legislative amendment also provides for various other powers to enable a more effective application of the Wet Bibob. For example, the National Public Administration Probity Screening Agency (Landelijk Bureau Bibob) will be able to tip off government agencies in order to apply the Wet Bibob if it has relevant information on criminal offences.
Currently in the works is a subsequent amendment of the Wet Bibob, which will extend the exchange of information between the National Public Administration Probity Screening Agency and administrative bodies as well as among administrative bodies. It is the aim of the government to submit the legislative proposal to the Council of State in the third quarter. The Wet Bibob has been in effect since 2003 and its purpose is to protect the integrity of the government.