The goal of the Dutch government policy on open standards is to promote interoperability of the Dutch public and semi-public sectors, while at the same time ensuring provider independence. Interoperability means the ability to exchange data electronically; in this case between government bodies and businesses, between government bodies and civilians, and between government bodies.
In order to attain this goal, the Standardisation Forum and Board were established in 2006. These institutions do not develop standards, but can assign a status (required or recommended) to existing standards in the public and semi-public sector.
The Board and Forum maintain the following two lists:
1) List of open standards for which a ‘Comply or Explain’-regime is in place.
2) List of recommended common open standards.
Inclusion in the 'Comply or Explain' list means that the Board members have committed to use the standard within their own organisation, and at the same time call upon third parties to also use the standard. Inclusion in the list also means that all government bodies and semi-government bodies are required to adjust their procurement process to the list. When organisations procure an ICT service or product, they are required to choose one of the applicable open standards from the 'Comply or Explain' list ('comply'). Only if this leads to insurmountable problems, may an organisation choose otherwise. However, in this case the annual report must give account of why the different choice was made ('explain').
The 'Comply or Explain' policy is embedded in decree and government agreements. Anyone can submit a standard for inclusion in one of the lists. The standard goes through an assessment procedure during which, based on the consideration criteria and substantive criteria, is determined for which list the standard qualifies, and whether the standard should be included. The assessment of open standards for inclusion in one of the lists is based on an assessment framework. Firstly, it is assessed whether a submitted standard falls within the scope of the lists, based on the consideration criteria. Only if the corresponding questions are answered positively, will the standard qualify for assessment according to the four substantive criteria. The target group for the lists consists of the entire public and semi-public sectors. In addition to government departments, implementing bodies, provinces, district water boards and municipalities, this includes education, healthcare and social security institutions. (function=inform).
This repository contains all standards from the 'Comply or Explain' list ("pas toe of leg uit"-lijst).