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Response of the IND to publications in the media dated 2 July 2018 on the IND's digitisation project

Publications in the media indicate that the IND is ​carrying out a digitisation project with higher costs than foreseen and a longer time frame than initially estimated. The information in this coverage is incomplete. The IND would like to rectify this.

Budgetary expansion and the longer time frame of the digitisation project are the result of the project's gradual approach.  Reassessment (meaning objective justification) of scope, time frame, budget and revenue takes place annually. Gradually, each quarter functionalities are realised and implemented. This step-by-step approach is, on the contrary, meant to keep the project's costs transparent and manageable. To be in control of the realisation of the agreed functionalities and revenues. And, to be able to learn and adjust based on advancing insight. This is in line with the recommendations of the Elias Commission.

Initially, in the period 2013-2014, the IND has carried out a couple of pilots to digitalise parts of its processes. These pilots had a limited budget (€ 1.2 million) and a limited amount of time. At the time, it was a conscious decision to limit its scale. When evaluating the pilot it was concluded that added value for the IND and for its services towards the applicant lies in more far-reaching digitalisation.  Therefore, the activities relating to the digitalisation of the processes were scaled up in 2015 and bundled together in one project.

In the period 2016-2018, the budget, the time frame and the revenues were reassessed annually based on advanced insight. The project's higher budget and the longer time frame are amply justified by the higher revenues. These revenues are insightful over a longer period of time and are time and again financially realised. 

The project is regularly re-examined externally, which means also by the Netherlands Court of Audit (in 2016, results were reported to the House of Representatives, Gateway Review (2017) and recently by the National Audit Service. Recommendations of these examinations have been implemented by the project.

The extensive version of the above information is publicly accounted for on the Dutch National ICT Dashboard and also included in the source documentation (partly) used by the FD.

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