ParagraphOn Wednesday 21 May, just like on Prince's Day in September, the minister of Finance came to the House of Representatives with a special briefcase. Wednesday 21 May was the annual Accountability Day. On Wednesday 28 May the House had a debate about the documents from the briefcase.
An important day for Parliament's scrutiny of the work of the government
It was the fifteenth time the House of Representatives received the accountability documents from the minister and the reports on these documents from the National Court of Audit. After the presentation of the documents the Speaker of the House, Ms Anouchka van Miltenburg, said: "This is beginning to become a tradition of which we may be proud. Accounting is part of a well functioning system of checks and balances. There are only few parliaments where the duty to scrutinize the government is carried out in such an open and careful way as the Dutch Parliament."
The third Wednesday of May
Every year on the third Wednesday of May the minister of Finance presents the annual financial report of the central government to the House of Representatives. The annual report states what the government has achieved in the past year, what has been done and how much it has cost. Moreover, on Accountability Day the president of the Netherlands Court of Audit presented a report on the government's policy over the past year.Accountability Day is the counterpart of Prince's Day. Instead of debating plans, the House examines how these plans have been implemented. That is why Accountability Day is an important moment for the House of Representatives' scrutiny of the work of the government. On this day, the third Wednesday of May, the Minister of Finance presents the central government's annual financial report to the House of Representatives. Apart from the central government's annual financial report, the counterpart of the Budget Memorandum, there are separate annual reports for each department. These reports show the performances of each department separately, how these performances meet the government's policy and how much the activities have cost.
Netherlands Court of Audit
The Netherlands Court of Audit scrutinises the annual reports. On Accountability Day the president of the Netherlands Court of Audit, too, presented a report to the House of Representatives, scrutinising 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 reports on the annual reports of each ministry.
On 28 May the House of Representatives had a debate about the central government's annual financial report. In the following weeks the standing committees will examine the accounting documents of each department separately. After the debate in the House, the Senate also discusses the annual reports.From left to right: Mr Jeroen Dijsselbloem, minister of Finance, Ms Saskia Stuiveling, president of the Netherlands Court of Audit and Ms Anouchka van Miltenburg, Speaker of the House of Representatives.Read more about accountability day