Dutch Parliament gets an integrity advisor

THE HAGUE - The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament has appointed an independent integrity advisor where Members of Parliament (MPs) can get advice on integrity and the application of integrity regulations.

The Presidium of the Second Chamber appointed former Registrar of the Second Chamber Jacqueline Biesheuvel-Vermeijden, who worked there from 2004 to 2015, as the independent integrity advisor. She will start per January 1, 2020, and work without remuneration.

The function of independent integrity advisor was one of the recommendations of the workgroup “Integrity Members of the Second Chamber”. The main reason for establishing this workgroup was the findings of the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body, Group of States against Corruption GRECO.

The GRECO found there was a lack of supervision on and enforcement of integrity regulations of the Second Chamber, and a non-existent policy regarding contacts of MPs with lobbyists. There are many lobbyists of all sorts of companies, organizations and cooperatives that target the MPs.

The Second Chamber workgroup presented its findings to the Presidium in November 2018, and came up with several recommendations, two of which have to do with the strengthening of providing advice to the MPs regarding the integrity regulations of the Second Chamber. The Presidium has taken over the workgroup’s recommendations.

MPs can approach the independent integrity advisor for confidential, written advice about how to apply the regulations in the area of integrity. The MP can make this advice public. The advisor will draft an annual anonymized report which will be made public after it has been sent to the Presidium. The advisor can make recommendations to improve integrity regulations.

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