Give transparency and open data NVWA and RVO priority

Open State Foundation calls in the context of the parliamentary debate on the budget of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the field of agriculture and fisheries to provide insight into inspection data from the Dutch Food Safety Authority and European agriculture grants from the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland.

Inspection Date NVWA in reusable format

Since July 2015, the law on re-use of government information is in force. The law enables reusers to receive government information in a machine readable format. Since 2014 the Dutch Food Safety Authority publishes the results of its inspections of lunchrooms on its website.

A request for re-use of the data not only had to wait seven months before it got an answer, the request was also rejected. The reason given by the NVWA was that the information could not be provided due to “technical reasons“. In fact, the data was used on its own website and in an iOS and Android app built on behalf of the Dutch Food Safety Authority.

Machine readable agriculture grant data

The Netherlands is a global player on food security and could make a significant contribution as such in the availability and accessibility of open data. This includes not only to stimulate other countries and multilateral organizations such as the FAO but it also applies to its own policies. The Dutch government and the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland still refuses to allow the re-use of data on agricultural subsidies. It involves millions paid to farmers and fishermen. A decision on the request for re-use took nine months.

Ultimately, our request to re-use the data was refused on the grounds that the names of companies could possibly lead to the identification of individuals. However, the data is already online on the RFO website. The RVO was not willing to let the importance of transparency of these subsidies prevail and allow the resuse of this important data.