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Make a request for re-use in The Netherlands

Continuining the series of articles about What is a “request for re-use” and how do we make it right? This time we analyze how the things work in The Netherlands. The model they adopted is quite interesting.

As usual a brief overview of the legislation in force. The main reference is the Act of 24 June 2015 laying down rules on the re-use of public sector information. In particular, chapter two sets out the conditions for submitting requests for re-use requests. First of all, any person may submit a request for re-use to a public body or a body entrusted with a public task. Requests can be refused if they concern information forwhich a third party holds rights under the Copyright Act, the Related Rights Act or the Databases Act.
The most interesting part is contained in the Article 4 “Processing of requests”, point 1:

Where the request relates to data and documents held by a body entrusted with a public task other than that to which the request was submitted, the applicant shall be referred to that body if necessary. Written requests shall be forwarded and the applicant shall be notified.

In short, in case the re-user does not address the right public body, there should be someone that forwards the request to the public body that owns the requested data.

Who is this “someone”?

Data.overheid.nl – the data portal of the Dutch government

The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has made available a data portal (https://data.overheid.nl/) which collects information about and references to datasets of the Dutch authorities.

But not just that.


On this data portal you can submit a PSI request indicating which data you need and the public sector body where you think this data can be found.

The team of data.overheid.nl analyses the request, publishes it in the public repository of the data requests and redirects it to the data owner within the government, which may be or not the one you indicated.

Here you can find how the requests are managed.

On the public repository of the data requests you can track the status of your data request and of all the other data requests registered. The most recent requests are automatically loaded also in the PSI Monitor database, so you don't need to replicate the request here.

The schema adopted by the Dutch government is indeed a brilliant way to serve the needs of re-users and to maximize the usage of open data.



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