Both the general public and the commercial sector are often not aware of their rights to facilities and subsidies, as well as the differences in local interpretations of complex legislation and the way that is put into effect. This applies for example to the arrangements for people who are in debt, which are currently not being found and requested.
This means that they struggle to make ends meet or to find clothes and opportunities for sports for their children. It is also not always clear when people are no longer able to use the financial arrangements; this can also create major problems, as seen in a recent childcare benefits scandal that left many people with large repayment debts.
Compliance by Design is a method that allows legally compliant, accessible and explainable e-services to be created for members of the public and companies. The governmental IT foundation ICTU, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, the Dutch Blockchain Coalition (DBC) and various governmental bodies (ministries, administrative bodies, provinces and municipalities) are working together under the Compliance by Design umbrella on:
- a system that always implements the authorities’ processes in accordance with legislation and regulations – such as the Environment Act or the Debt Relief Act – using automatically executable rules;
- making it possible for members of the public and companies to state where variation from that is needed;
- supporting the option of deliberate deviation from that in special cases;
- supporting the development of new arrangements that create a better picture beforehand of the policy impact;
- The modelling method has been developed in recent years by various parties, in particular by the ICTU and TNO.
The Ministry of Finance asked the DBC in 2018 to set up the first experiments involving governmental organisations. That was followed by projects with the Municipality of Amsterdam, the ministry itself and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO. From 2021 onwards, Compliance by Design will be scaled up to a larger, nationwide programme.