DSO can only be saved with ‘radically different course’

‘I do not think it can be left to the ministry whether the DSO is sufficiently robust,’ says Lieuwe Koopman’s environmental law adviser to market leader Tercera. almost 150 municipalities, all provinces and three water councils are connected to the digital system. “Sorry, but the ministry has made a good news show over the years.”


The new digital system was to make life easier for the municipalities. The starting point was therefore that it should never fall below the level of the current Online Environmental Desk and Planning Act (Wro). But in 2017, the ICT Verification Bureau (BIT) issued an initial, critical assessment of the DSO’s condition at the time. Merchants: ‘Then the ministry dropped this claim, arguing that apples could not be compared to pears. A trick to hide that at certain points the old systemem of physical plans simply work better. ‘


Instead of a minimum standard that the DSO had to meet, the then Minister Ollongren (Home Affairs) came up with five new criteria. ‘Nonsense criteria’, according to Koopmans. “For example: provinces must be able to set their visions of physical plans. And: water boards must be able to present a project decision. These are small things that do not matter.” tested: ‘From a municipality that has an environmental plan change prepared by an office, to a province that responds to this change with a reactive intervention. Only then can you see where things can go wrong. ‘

went loose

To illustrate the DSO’s incorrect practice, Koopmans likes to make a comparison with a newly built home, which the competent authorities must ultimately occupy. He sees the STOP / PTOD standard as the first step: the construction drawing. ‘The DSO’s fundamental problem lies with Rijkswaterstaat’s information architects. They had no contact with the professional field during their design. They have gone completely wild, with a gigantic beautiful design as a result. However, if you only include municipal practice in recent years, you will discover that many things are not possible. That’s what the DSO is dealing with now. ‘

‘It goes against how ICT design should go’

Lieuwe Koopmans


According to Ollongren, the delay was primarily due to software vendors arriving late. That rejects Koopmans. “If the builder constantly changes the construction drawing, one can hardly blame the contractor that it has not started. That it was done by the Minister is actually quite sad. Now we are still missing a coSimplify the mplex system. This is at odds with how it should go with ICT design: you start simple and take such small steps forward. It’s a much better method. ‘


So the house itself. In Koopmans’ view, it is the DSO-LV. According to him, the situation is ‘dramatic’ with regard to the national facility, which municipalities must connect to. ‘Many problems await a solution and the system is often down.’ It comes with devastating consequences. ‘When you as a municipality publish something on DSO-LV, it must go in two directions: to KOOP, says Overheid.nl, and to the land registry. By mistake, we have often read the document to KOOP, but not to Tinglysningen. You should spend a lot more time fixing this. ‘

A lot of time

To be able to move into the house, the pipes must be good: The planning software in Koopmans’ house. According to him, the situation is very different from supplier to. Because we started early, we started quickly. Only now do I notice that we are not adhering to our schedules because weand runs into all sorts of problems. You lose a lot of time with it.

‘The Environment and Planning Act speaks of participation, but it does not support the DSO.’

Lieuwe Koopmans


Another problem with the planning software is that pre-planning is not included in the DSO, while the Environmental Act focuses on early participation. ‘Zwolle is such a municipality working on this,’ says Koopmans. »And it makes sense, because when you as a municipality do a lot of public information in the pre-phase, you intercept criticism and comments from the citizens. You can immediately incorporate this into the design, while it all becomes more and more legal later in the process. The Environment and Planning Act speaks of participation, but the DSO does not support it ‘.


Finally, the residents who will soon be moving into the house: municipalities, provinces and water councils. According to the monthly monitor released by the ministry, the number of local connections to the DSO seems to be going well. Koopmans laughs. ‘We’re just making that connection. One form, that’s all. Compare it to the TV you put in the socket. So you do not yet know if the TV actually works. You still need to submit a trial plan from the Getting Started with Environmental Law program to get a tick. A meaningless bureaucratic act. ‘


He sees another problem in the exchange between different suppliers. This is not possible because the standards have many freedoms, and 70 percent of the municipalities outsource the change of the environmental plan to a city planning office. ‘Because there is so much freedom and space in the standards, a complete exchange of plans between the city planning office and the municipality is impossible. If it does not change soon, 70 percent of the municipalities will soon not be able to work in the current way. ‘


Given the seriousness of the problems, does he really see any possibilities for introducing the DSO? “If the ministry does not stop the good news show, this system will never work. It is a monstrosity. Only a radically different course aimed at full transparency and really listening to the professional field can still save the system. Sometimes I think we better must go back to the previous system, Imro. You can improve it faster than repairing the DSO. ‘

Read the full interview with Lieuwe Koopmans this week in BB05 (login).

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