Independence of the CTIVD

The oversight of the intelligence and security services and the handling of complaints and reports of misconduct must not only be conducted professionally but also independently of the services and politics.


That was the basic principle on which the CTIVD was founded and its departments established. The CTIVD is thus free to determine what it investigates. The findings are submitted in public reports to the House of Representatives. The CTIVD also decides itself which decisions to take regarding complaints and reports of misconduct. Its budget is part of the national budget.

The CTIVD’s independence is also apparent from the procedure for appointing members of the Oversight and Complaints Handling Departments. When there is a vacancy, the vice-president of the Council of State, the president of the Supreme Court and the National Ombudsman make a first selection of candidates. They draw up a shortlist and send this to the House of Representatives. The Standing Committee for Internal Affairs of the House of Representatives then interviews the candidates and chooses three individuals. Subsequently, the House of Representatives takes a vote and sends the list of three candidates in order of preference to the Minister of General Affairs, the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations. These Ministers must choose a candidate from the list. Finally, the King appoints the chosen candidate as a member of the CTIVD for a period of six years.

This appointment procedure is significant in that the three state powers (the judiciary power, legislative power and executive power, respectively) are represented. When appointing a judge for example, parliament is not involved. The procedure resembles the one for appointing the Ombudsman.


When the Oversight and Complaints Handling Departments were set up, a major consideration was guaranteeing their impartiality. The legislator wanted to prevent committee members being able to decide on a matter in a complaint or report of misconduct on which they had previously issued a decision in the context of oversight. Two separate departments were set up for this reason. In practice this means that the members of the Oversight Department are not involved in the handling of and decision-making on complaints and reports of misconduct. Conversely, the chair and the members of the Complaints Handling Department are not involved in oversight.