10 February 2014

New act improves retrieval of extracts from municipal personal records database

The Municipal Database (Personal Records) Act was recently replaced by the Persons Database Act. Parties such as insurance companies and pension funds can now request personal records from any municipality, regardless of the applicant and relevant person’s location.

This article is available in English only

In order to enable the government to perform its public duties, the adequate registration of personal records is necessary. The Persons Database Act (Act) is the new legal framework for the personal records database (Database). The Act aims to adapt to new developments, such as improving the quality of registrations, modernising the technical infrastructure of the Database and reducing administrative burdens. Furthermore, the Act aspires to offer citizens better services by the authorities. 

The layout and structure of the Act is similar to the Municipal Database (Personal Records) Act which it has replaced. There are, however, important changes. 

What is new? 

The Database is divided into central and municipal facilities. The Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (Minister) and the relevant executive board of a municipality (B&W) are responsible for the central and municipal facilities. The central and municipal facilities have their own specific functions, yet information is exchanged between them. These exchanges safeguard the consistency and accuracy of the Database. Instead of duplicating registrations, direct links have now been created between the personal records of persons related to each other. 

Furthermore, the responsibilities of the Minister and B&W now include conducting regular audits to assess the quality of the Database within the parameters of their outlined responsibilities. The quality of the Database is further improved by granting B&W the authority to impose administrative penalties on citizens who violate the Act by incorrectly or falsely registering. 

The scope of the Database has been extended to non-residents (e.g., persons who have emigrated from the Netherlands and persons who have always been registered as non-residents). Their personal records can be registered if registration is necessary for the adequate and efficient execution of public tasks and at their own request or at the request of administrative authorities. 

Location of independent provision of personal records 

The Act makes it possible for administrative authorities to provide services to citizens, independent of their location. This means that it will become possible to receive extracts of the Database from a municipality other than the municipality of residence. A citizen can therefore ask any B&W about any personal records being processed about him or her and ask for an extract of those records. 

The provision of personal records independent of location not only benefits citizens and administrative authorities, but also clients insofar as they carry out activities of substantial public interest, such as insurers, pension funds and parties that carry out judicial activities. If such parties do not have direct access to the Database, they can request personal records at any municipality.