Prestaties afspreken doe je zo! (This is how you negotiate performance agreements!)

Lessons learned in eight sectors about managing by output
Bill van Mil, Niels-Ingvar Boer, Geke van Velzen, Hans de Bruijn, Ernst ten Heuvelhof, Annelies Dijkzeul and Maarten Noordink
Utrecht: Berenschot Fundatie/Van Gorcum, 2008
Publishing date:
9 789023 244462
Nr of pages:
Price in €:


Performance agreements between governments and the executing agencies responsible for providing public services are a key area of interest these days. Such agreements have been formulated in diverse sectors, such as the public transportation, healthcare, policing, housing and education sectors. And governments intend to negotiate performance agreements in other sectors as well. In their book Prestaties afspreken doe je zo! (This Is How You Negotiate Performance Agreements!), Berenschot, the Kwink Groep and TU Delft describe their findings in part on the basis of the lessons learned in eight diverse sectors.

According to the researchers, performance agreements are often negotiated as part of a laborious negotiating process in which both parties that are dependent on each other, find it difficult to reach joint agreement. An additional complicating factor is the fact that ‘everyone is apt to meddle in everything'. According to the researchers it all comes down to smart negotiating and making strategic choices. Choices in terms of the parties who are allowed to participate in discussions and the decision-making process, the topics that are subject to agreements and the methods used to measure and evaluate. In their book Prestaties afspreken doe je zo! (This Is How You Negotiate Performance Agreements!), the researchers present practical tips and tools that are helpful in making these choices.

The researchers plead for a stronger role for consumer organisations among other things. Government often has the directing role and ensures that the interests of citizens and end-users are properly safeguarded. However, government does not always have to set itself up as the protector of the public interest. It could very well be productive to transfer this role to organisations representing the interests of end-users. These organisations generally are thoroughly familiar with the issues involved and are more familiar with the consumer's concerns than government. One example cited in the book is the Netherlands National Railways (NS) that directly negotiates agreements with consumer organisations concerning rates and punctuality.


This publication is only available in Dutch