Mayors to be allowed to share info on criminal entrepreneurs

Ahmed Aboutaleb
Ahmed Aboutaleb mayor of RotterdamRijksvoorlichtingsdienstWikimedia

The government is working on creating room for mayors to be able to warn each other about criminal entrepreneurs, without violating confidentiality obligations or privacy legislation. Municipalities that refuse permits or transactions will be able to warn other municipalities if they suspect that malicious parties are deliberately transferring their activities to another municipality, according to an amendment to the Integrity Assessment Promotion by Public Administrations Act that Ministers Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and Sander Dekker for Legal Protection released on Thursday, the Volkskrant reports.

For some time now, there has been a desire in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, to improve the sharing of information between governments in order to better combat undermining crime.  A motion by PvdA parliamentarian Attje Kuiken to make this happen was adopted in March last year. 

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb also called for the government to intervene and make sure that privacy legislation doesn't protect criminals. He wanted to warn another mayor about a criminal entrepreneur moving from Rotterdam to that municipality. "But that is not allowed and that is of course bizarre", he said earlier this year.  

The new bill will allow such warnings, under certain conditions. "It must be prevented that a municipality acts against a criminal party and another municipality unknowingly facilitates crime when it comes to that same criminal party", the explanatory notes read. This applies to municipalities, provinces, and other governments. 

This sharing of information will happen through a new "tip authority", according to the newspaper. The amendment also allows the collection and sharing information on not only the applicant, but also business relationships for which there is "judicial data".