De functionele waarde van het lokale enquêterecht
|PhD ceremony:||Ms I. (Ilse) de Haan|
|When:||March 25, 2021|
|Supervisors:||prof. dr. mr. A. (Albertjan) Tollenaar, prof. dr. H.B. (Heinrich) Winter|
|Where:||Academy building RUG|
The Functional Value of the Local Right of InquiryA study of truth-finding and proportional use of the local right of inquiry to strengthen the supervisory role of the municipal council
Since the dualization of the municipal administration in 2002, the municipal council has access to the right of local inquiry to strengthen its supervisory role. This control instrument gives the municipal council extensive control powers, such as the possibility to hear witnesses under oath. These powers are a means for the municipal council to obtain - whether or not under duress - all factual information regarding the conduct of the council and the mayor. Thus, right of local inquiry serves as a tool with which the council and the mayor can be monitored to ensure the best interest of the population. A precondition for the local right of inquiry is that the control instrument is used proportionally.
There has not been much research to determine the extent to which local right of inquiry actually strengthens the supervisory role of the municipal council. This paper, aims to address this gap hence it forms the basis of the thesis. In order to answer this question, the local right of inquiry has been examined normatively and empirically. The normative study, in which the regulations of the local right of inquiry were compared with the expectations of the control instrument, shows that the summary regulation contains many bottlenecks. The consequences of these bottlenecks have been empirically investigated by (among others) examining all local inquiries up to 2019. This revealed that municipal councils rely on obtaining information through local inquiries which do not present factual information. This hinders the process of obtaining the actual on ground information. Moreover, the control instrument is only sporadically used proportionally. Another fact that came to light was that the local right of inquiry is of value for various (political) accountability relationships. This is a gross misuse as the control instrument is not intended for this purpose. In light of the summarized aforementioned findings, it has been established that the local right of inquiry does not strengthen the supervisory role of the municipal council as expected, but legal amendments can be implemented to rectify this.