Government to link registers to catch tax, social security cheats

The European Commission has been asked to comment on a Dutch government decision to link a wide variety of official registers in an effort to profile potential social security and tax cheats.

The technique, known as the Systeem Risico Indicatie (SyRI) derives from security service technology and is to be used by local authorities and national government to crack down on fraud, the Volkskrant said last week.

The draft legislation, which was approved by ministers last month but did not get picked up by the media at the time, states that ‘maximum use should be made of the opportunities offered by exchanging information’ in combating fraud.


D66 European parliamentarian Sophie in ’t Veld has now asked the European Commission for its position on the new Dutch system, which she says has actually been in operation since 2008 without any legal framework.

In particular she wants to know if the commission considers the legislation is in line with EU law.


The technique allows officials to draw up a risk model to identify potential cheats who can then be more closely monitored.

The information will be based details gleaned about employment history, fines paid, tax information, property ownership, pension information, social security benefit claims, permits, health insurance, integration processes and education, the Volkskrant said.

Both the Dutch privacy watchdog CBP and the Council of State have criticised the plans, saying they will have a far-reaching impact on people’s lives and involve fishing for information.

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