Municipal Appeals Platform
The Municipal Appeals Platform is an online support tool that provides citizens and relevant support professionals with information and assistance when considering filing an objection against a municipal decision.
The platform in brief
The objection procedure is the most commonly used method for resolving disputes with the government. Practice shows that when a citizen disagrees with a decision, they often do not know how to respond effectively, creating the experience of facing an inaccessible system
That is why the government wants to make it easier for citizens to find out what their options are in such a situation.
The digital platform consists of two parts: a diagnosis tool and an appeals portal. The diagnostic tool allows citizens to anonymously find information about the decision they have received. If a citizen decides to file an objection, he us guided step by step through the appeals procedure. The platform provides explanations, tips, and alternative options where applicable. The process involves interactions between the handling officer and the citizen, with particular attention given to those who may have limited digital proficiency.
In early 2022, a proof of concept of the Municipal Appeals Platform was delivered. The purpose of the proof of concept was to demonstrate how the platform:
- supports citizens in finding the best course of action to respond to a decision they are dissatisfied with.
- assists citizens in submitting an objection if they choose to do so.
- supports municipalities in handling objections.
- digitizes the appeals procedure, including the creation of a digital file accessible to citizens.
- provides municipalities with information to improve the handling of objections and the primary process.
During the development of the proof of concept, a consultation group was involved, including representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the municipality of Purmerend, the municipality of Amsterdam, the Legal Aid Board, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), Divosa, the Legal Services Counter, the Bar Association, and academia.
Currently, the next phase is being prepared, which will involve developing the initial version of the platform. This version will be tested in an experiment involving two municipalities.
The Ministry of Justice and Security and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations are the project’s sponsors.
The proof of concept was developed in collaboration with the municipalities of Amsterdam and Purmerend. The next phase of the project, including the experimentation phase, will involve the municipality of Leiden, among others.