Machine translations by Deepl

The Button Monster: registration is your raison d'être

By our guest columnist. 

The Netherlands is registration-sick. When you come to the counter of the Government, Bank or Insurance you may (read: must) hand over your BSN (Citizen Service Number), driving licence or passport, date of birth, policy number, etc. If that matches and you are found in the registration file, someone will be there to help you with your queries. After all, they then know who you are: a registered concatenation of numbers and numbers.

Even if you make a phone call, you are required to go through a labyrinth of numbers through the menu with the help of a robotic voice before you are helped.

We have a family member (we call this one the BOB) who has no future as a married person. The BOB is a Dutch 50-something (blond hair, blue eyes, red cheeks), who had the misfortune of being born somewhere in Africa. At the time, the parents thought it was a good idea to take the original birth certificate from that country with them when they left. It messed around quite a bit. Although the PDO has a Dutch passport, the Government no longer accepts the birth certificate even though it is an authentic document bearing authentic seals. "Too bad," says the Government, "the authority of the country of birth has to send a new document proving that the BOB was born there." But yes, the PDO is no longer registered in Africa and therefore cannot request or produce anything and is therefore not allowed to marry. After all, the parents had brought the original document. Mistake thanks. The BOB, can you really prove that you were born? Then you may still get married. That's the good news for today!

An example that affects many people is the VOG: a certificate of good conduct. It is a seal of approval from the Government (in this case Justice) for anyone daring to start a job, or change jobs. If you get through the application process at all, more and more bodies require you to submit a VOG. If your name is registered with the Justice Department and police, you are out of luck: you probably won't get the job.

This is bizarre. After all, in the Netherlands, it is (read: was) normal when changing employers to bring a certificate from previous employer(s). Where newcomers started with a job, they either got the job after an interview or not. It was either awarded or not.

Dismissal law still provides that if someone has demonstrably broken the law or does not behave according to the company rules in force, that person may then be dismissed by the company.

Thanks to the VOG, anyone with a notation in the Justice and Police records is outlawed. You will no longer get a job, even if you have been arrested and convicted for this and served your sentence. The endorsement (even if it was only a suspicion) remains in the Justice Department's file for years. It is opaque to the applicant on what criteria a VOG is issued. We know provo's and hippies of the past who have now ended up in high positions. These people now make policy. We wonder: does the innkeeper trust his guests, and if not, why not?

But what do you care? Now for the good news: it is a daily occurrence within your area: children who have been in contact with the police and the judiciary, in connection with excessive drinking and/or drug use (e.g. a party drug), vandalism, etc., are very likely to be denied a VOG, i.e. work. Registration is kept for five years for minor offences. The more serious the offence, the longer it is kept.

Can you envisage your child's future? Unemployed and no prospect of better. The system is proving your child wrong.

A citation with Bureau HALT is enough to put a stop to your child's career. Or will the tide still be turned?