The Council for Public Administration [Raad voor het openbaar bestuur – Rob] and the Financial Relations Council [Raad voor de financiële verhoudingen – Rfv] are advisory bodies of the government and parliament. The councils are independent and are established by law. They can issue advice when requested or on their own initiative. The cabinet is obliged within three months to announce its position to the Lower House regarding advice issued.
The Rob advises on the structure and functioning of the government. The aim is to improve effectiveness and efficiency. The Rob devotes particular attention to the basic principles of the democratic rule of law. In the coming period, the term 'trust' will be central within public administration and between public administration and the citizen. By means of its advice, other publications and research, the Rob wishes to contribute to the political, administrative and social debate. When preparing advice, the Rob often engages people and organisations that are frequently involved in the functioning of government or that have specific expertise.
The Rfv issues advice about how the financial resources of the State can best be divided among municipalities and provinces. The advice relates to the municipalities and provinces funds, the tax system and to specific financial distributions. The Rfv aims to establish a balance between the division of tasks, competences, and the resources required for that purpose. Items addressed in the advice include discretionary powers (also with regard to spending), the financial risks, legal equality and legal certainty for municipalities, and the transparency of the distribution. The aim is to contribute to the quality of the decision-making process regarding a balanced distribution of the financial resources, which adds to the effectiveness of the government as a whole.
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