Dutch municipalities struggle to deal with citizen complaints: Ombudsman

Many municipalities in the Netherlands aren't good at dealing with citizen complaints about healthcare, youth support and guidance to work, according to the National Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is handing the results of an investigation in this field to the Home Affairs Minister today.

According to the Ombudsman, citizens don't know where to turn with their problems. The municipal services tend to shift a difficult cases to each other. The legislation and rules are too complicated. Questions remain unanswered, privacy is violated and information provision is often incorrect or incomplete.

The Ombudsman also said that the municipalities' treatment of their citizens leaves a lot to be desired. Since the responsibility for health care, youth aid and and guidance to work was shifted from the National Government to the municipalities in January 2015, the Ombudsman received over 3,100 complaints. 

According to the Ombudsman, municipalities should work on matching the way in which a complaint is handled to the world in which the citizen lives, without all kinds of legal and administrative barriers.