Accountability Day is the counterpart of Prince's Day. Instead of debating plans, the House examines how these plans have been implemented. It is an important moment for Parliament's scrutiny of the work of the Government. On the third Wednesday in May, the Minister of Finance presents the Central Government's annual financial report to the House of Representatives: in a special briefcase, just as the National Budget and the Budget Memorandum were on Prince's Day. The annual report shows what the Government has achieved in the past year, what has been done and how much it has cost.
NETHERLANDS COURT OF AUDIT
The Netherlands Court of Audit audits the annual reports. On Accountability Day, the President of the Netherlands Court of Audit also presents a report to the House of Representatives, containing an assessment of the Government's policy over the past year: have the desired policy goals been achieved and did the Cabinet observe the law? The Netherlands Court of Audit also comments on the annual reports of each ministry.
In mid-June, the House of Representatives holds a debate on the financial annual reports and the reports of the Netherlands Court of Audit. MPs discuss with the ministers the implementation of the various policy programmes, as well as the results and costs. After the debate in the House, the Senate also discusses the annual reports, so the ministers must account to both chambers of the States General. That is why the third Wednesday in May is called Accountability Day.
ADJUSTMENT OR CHANGE
On Accountability Day, the Government does not account for its plans for the current year, but for the previous year. In 2017, for example, the Government had to account for its plans presented on Prince's Day 2015 and implemented in 2016. Because the implementation of the plans is evaluated immediately the following year, the Cabinet can incorporate the comments made by the House of Representatives in the draft National Budget for the year after that, and thus adjust or change its policy, if necessary.