Good public administration

The citizen has ever higher expectations of public services. That is why public authorities are working constantly to improve their services, for instance by harmonising rules and procedures. 

Guidelines for public services

To increase citizen satisfaction with public administration, all public authorities adhere to a number of guidelines:

  1. Code for Good Public Administration
    The executive bodies of all public authorities adhere to the Code for Good Public Administration. The Code lays down, for instance, how executive bodies and public servants should behave in their dealings with private citizens, businesses, and other public authorities.
  2. Failure to Give Timely Decisions (Penalty Payments and Application for Review) Act
    In certain cases, citizens are entitled to receive a penalty payment if a public authority takes too much time in deciding on an application or notice of objection.
  3. Quality charters
    Quality charters lay down what people can expect of a public authority. Each public authority adheres to them in its own way.

Office of the National Ombudsman

Citizens may hold a public authority to account if they are dissatisfied with the services it provides. The Office of the National Ombudsman receives complaints about public authorities. An independent and impartial body, the Office investigates all sorts of complaints about almost all public authorities. Typical complaints include the tardy handling of letters or applications, the failure to respond to applicants' communications, and the incorrect application of statutory rules. The National Ombudsman can also launch investigations on his own initiative.