Open State calls on government to open companies trade register

In a letter to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Open State Foundation calls on the government to open the trade and companies register. It also calls on the government to publish all data on public procurement and to improve both the quantity and quality of open government data.

In the Netherlands it is not possible to confirm the existence of a company without payment of a fee. The Chamber of Commerce has a monopoly on the data and blocks innovation. This is not just a problem for companies and small businesses that need to re-use this data, it also hinders economic growth and makes it harder to tackle fraud and corruption.

In the letter, Open State Foundation, also calls on the government to publish all procurement announcements and information about granted procurements as open data. The public has a right to access information related to the formation, award, execution, performance, and completion of public contracts. Equal access to core information is a fundamental principle of both free markets and informed, active democracies.

In the Netherlands only the last 25 announcements as open data but no information about awarded contracts, execution, performance in an open and structured format. Public available data on procurements is a safeguard against inefficient, ineffective, or corrupt use of public resources.

Finally, in the letter Open State Foundation provides a number of recommendations how the government can improve both the quantity and quality of open data. It calls on the departments that did not yet publish a data inventory accompanied with schemes to publish open data to do so. It also asks the government’s open data portal to comply with its open source obligations.

Read the full letter to the government (PDF) here.