Official Government Almanac holds faulty data

The government almanac – the official register of Dutch government organizations, politicians and public officials – is filled with outdated or faulty information. This is the result of research conducted by Open State Foundation on the accuracy of the almanac.

Open State Foundation will launch the website Allmanak.nl, which holds more information and that will correct the information on the official government almanac.

A full and correct list of governments, politicians and public officials is essential to citizens, journalists, companies and civil society. The information is used for reaching out to governments, research, accountability, participation and public affairs.

With more than 75% of the provinces and 90% of the municipalities we found mistakes and missing information. People who use this information now have to search on other locations or depend on third parties that sell this information for a high price.

The ministry of Interior Affairs is responsible for maintaining the complete lists of governments, politicians and public officials: “They do not succeed in this goal because the listed governments forget to submit new information or provide faulty information’, according to Tom Kunzler, assistant director of Open State Foundation. “Civil society organizations, public affairs bureaus, researchers, but also governments are now forced to collect the information themselves or buy the information for thousands of euros. We encourage the ministry to improve the information in the official government almanac.”

Open State Foundation launches own Allmanak

To help with this effort Open State Foundation launches its own Allmanak.nl. Kunzler: “The name is chosen on purpose, to show the information in this almanac will be made complete’ This alternative almanac bundles data from almanak.overheid.nl, House of Representatives, Senate and the Dutch Election Council. This will provide a more complete register that can be used for free by everyone”.

When information within the Allmanak.nl is incomplete a user can report this. This will generate an automatic e-mail that will be sent to the government organization whose information is faulty or missing. The e-mail will hold a request and instructions to update the data at the official government almanac almanak.overheid.nl.

This new information from almanak.overheid.nl will be added to allmanak.nl as well. Open State will further improve Allmanak the coming months with more data sources and enrichments. We do this by providing everyone free and open access to a usable list of governments and politicians.

See all the mistakes in the almanac data via this re-usable interactive map visualization. An image of the visualization is listed below.

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