Controlling externally autonomised entities by Dutch local governments

Johan A.M. de Kruijf

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: This paper aims to address the possibilities for (performance‐based) control of externally autonomised (empowered) entities which operate at the level of local government in The Netherlands. The idea is that Dutch regulations do not cover controlling all institutional structures, which might result in unobserved risks for local governments.

    Design/methodology/approach: Two basic methods are used: a literature study on the variety of institutional structures meant to design an overview. This is completed by a secondary research approach on the findings of 34 local audit offices that have studied the problem for their local government.

    Findings: In The Netherlands, there is no all‐encompassing framework to cover control of autonomised entities at the local level. The most important problems to be solved are related to the specification of services to be delivered by local governments and the role conflict emerging from being owner/financial stakeholder in the organisation, on the one hand, and commissioner for the services of the organisation, on the other. This holds for almost all cases. The problem is even stronger in those cases where autonomised entities operate under a national framework for delivering services that have to fit in with local planning and control systems.

    Originality/value: The analysis draws attention to the organisations not included in the standard regulatory framework of local governments; and contributes to the awareness of different roles of local government, being both commissioner and owner/financial stakeholder.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-59
    JournalInternational journal of productivity and performance management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Local government
    • Autonomous work groups
    • Service delivery systems


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