Aansturen van verzelfstandigde organisaties (Management of Privatised Organisations)

Peter Plug, Ronald Timmerman, Annelies Dekker
Assen: Van Gorcum, 2004
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Where in the past the formulation and execution of policy usually occurred under a singly roof, nowadays a large number of executing agencies have been privatised. Well-known examples include the RDW (Centre for Vehicle Technology and Information) and IB Groep (Information Management Group). Due to such privatisations, the affected executing agencies have been given more autonomy and responsibility. This has generally produced concrete actions designed to improve the quality of internal operations and the organisation, resulting in improvements in terms of efficiency, flexibility and client-orientation.

Separating policy and execution also brings disadvantages with it, however. For example, the quality of the administrative and working relationships between government departments and the privatised executing agencies often turns out to be inadequate. This is not surprising according to the authors of this book. Following privatisation, complex connections with multiple relationship patterns emerge. Connections with hierarchical as well as horizontal components. Achieving an optimal balance between policy and execution is not a sinecure in this respect. The risk that old patterns and ways of thinking will rear their ugly head is always just around the corner. These factors and tensions quite often lead to 'broken connections' between government departments and executing agencies.

On the basis of a number of familiar examples, Aansturen van verzelfstandigde organisaties (Management of Privatised Organisations) analyses the often difficult relationship between government departments and executing agencies. A model especially developed by Berenschot for this purpose is used to carry out the analysis. The authors of course offer numerous opinions and recommendations with the objective of creating an effective policy-based link between government departments and privatised executing agencies.


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