SDG 16


In 2019, Transparency International Netherlands made an in-depth assessment of the country's progress towards SDG 16.4, 16.5, 16.6 and 16.10.

Transparency International Netherland's full SDG 16 spotlight report from 2019 is available for download here.

The spotlight report is based on responses to 159 indicators, split across 19 different thematic areas from anti-money laundering to whistleblowing, and grouped under one of four SDG 16 targets.

The underlying data for all indicators is available underneath the graphs below, which show the country’s aggregate score across the indicators grouped under that SDG 16 target. The scores relate solely to the legislative and institutional framework. Implementation and compliance are not scored, but rather assessed qualitatively.

SDG 16.4

Organised Crime and Illicit Flows


The different policy areas assessed under target 16.4 are anti-money laundering, beneficial ownership and asset recovery. The Netherlands scores particularly poorly on beneficial ownership transparency as at the time of the assessment the country is still awaiting for the adoption of the Act on Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) and the implementation of the resulting UBO-register.


  1. Implement all the actions of the ‘Plan van Aanpak Witwassen’ (National Action Plan Anti-Money Laundering), including increasing the role of the financial and other institutions in detecting AML-risks.
  2. Introduce an ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) register that complies with international best practices and that is freely and publicly accessible.
  3. Introduce a broad and effective asset recovery mechanism, also aimed at compensating the victims of corruption.
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SDG 16.5

Corruption and bribery


The assessment for target 16.5 looks into the following different policy areas: anti-corruption framework and institutions, private sector, transparency in lobbying and transparency in party and election campaign finance.

Most noticeable is the absence of an official law or policy setting a framework for lobbyists and lobbying activities. For example, there is no statutory code of conduct for lobbyists, the Netherlands only holds a voluntary lobby register containing a minor percentage of the total amount of lobbyist present in the country and has no independent authority that monitors lobby activities.


  1. Bring the legislation in the Netherlands fully in line with the provisions of the UNCAC.
  2. Investigate whether the legal framework can be extended as to prohibit collusion.
  3. Make lobbying in the Netherlands transparent byintroducing a mandatory lobby register, include a ‘footprint’ tracking and summarizing external input in all legislative proposals; review public sector and MPs’ codes of conduct.
  4. Cover political party finance at the local level and constitute a real independent oversight body to review political party finance
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SDG 16.6

Transparent and accountable institutions


The different policy areas assessed under target 16.6 are transparency and integrity in public administration, fiscal transparency, integrity in public procurement and whistleblowing.

The Netherlands scores particularly poorly on transparency and integrity in public administration. The low score is predominantly caused by a lack of sanctions and/or oversight bodies enforcing Codes of Conducts formembers of the Dutch Public Administration. Furthermore, the low score regarding the transparency of Dutch public administration is related to a lack of regulations and oversight addressing the ‘revolving door’ between the public and private sector.


  1. Introduce a comprehensive policy preventing a ‘revolving door’ for public officials and politicians, and create legislation addressing interest declarations and income and asset disclosure to be made available to the public.
  2. Require public procurements contracts themselves to be published.
  3. Improve the functioning of the Authority for Whistleblowers; introduce a reversal of the burden of proof; provide the Authority for Whistleblowers with the power power to enforce and sanction where necessary.
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SDG 16.10

Access to information and protect fundamental freedoms


Target 16.10 looks into the policy area of access to information. The low score can be explained by the fact that there are considerable restrictions on the right of access to information. The timelines for responding to a request are relatively long. Although anyone may apply for a request on information, there many exceptions to the right of access and therefore many possibilities for the requests to be denied on several grounds. Furthermore, an independent oversight for non-compliance on the right to access of information is missing.


  1. Shorten the timelines for responding to a request under the freedom of information act, reduce the exceptions to the right of access and introduce independent oversight against non-compliance
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