Performance Update: task of implementing organisations increasingly complex

Last update: 23 January 2023

38 implementing organisations, including the IND, indicate in the first Performance Update (only in Dutch) that their work is becoming increasingly complex. The most important conclusion is that politics, policy and implementation must work together sooner and better. The complexity of legislation and accumulation of policies are the greatest bottleneck. The IND recognises this picture. It matches the conclusions that emerged from its own Progress Update of June last year.

The IND is happy to make efforts together with other implementing organisations to shed light on the foremost dilemmas. And to form a clear picture of how practical implementation can be better in cooperation with politics and policy.

Limits of feasibility

In addition to complex legislation, unpredictable, fluctuating migration flows lead to an increased workload at the IND. The number of applications has increased considerably in recent years and waiting times are increasing. IND General Director Rhodia Maas: ‘Political requirements and court rulings ask a lot from us. We do what we can, but by now we have reached the limits of what can be expected from an implementing organisation. At the same time, we must be careful that we do not make our work unnecessarily complicated. The most important thing is that our staff get enough room to do their jobs and applicants feel heard and seen. That’s a considerable challenge.’

Tangible on the shop floor

Society, politics and policy makers increasingly desire that applications for residency in the Netherlands are processed with more care. This can be seen in increasingly complex legislation and rulings by national and European courts. On the shop floor of the IND, the results of this are tangible. For instance, it takes more time to process an application, files are becoming larger and training new staff takes longer.

Two staff members tell about their daily practice: 

Jan-Willem ’t Hart, family case handler: ‘In the past, we only assessed whether an application for a residence permit met all requirements. If it didn’t, we rejected the application. Today, we, as IND, focus more on the applicant. By looking at the underlying intention of a rule, for example. Furthermore the court has decided that we must talk with applicants almost always if they object to a decision to better explain why we’ve rejected an application. Doing this is very good for our service provision, but as a result a single application takes up a lot more time. Because of this, new applicants have to wait longer.’

Ruth Kanis, customisation officer and information officer in Amsterdam: ‘At the Customisation Desk we like to help people who find it difficult to manage IND affairs through the regular channels. Sometimes it can take a lot of time to help someone on their way correctly. For example because the application of rules by another government can inadvertently have a negative outcome. For instance, someone may be unregistered from the Personal Records Database by a Town Hall for a very good reason, whereas this has a big impact on his or her residency in the Netherlands at the same time. Different authorities that all apply their own rules and logic don’t make things easier.

More about the purpose of and reason for the Progress Update can be found on (in Dutch).