At present, the central government is increasingly delegating duties and powers to municipal authorities; for instance within the vast field of community services. The role of provincial authorities is also changing and is currently shifting towards the role of stimulator and facilitator.
These developments demand an increase in administrative, official and financial capability, especially now that budgets are under constant pressure. At the same time, these developments present local and provincial authorities with many legal opportunities and challenges in connection with the responsibilities they can assume and with embedding these changes in their institutional framework. This forces them, more than ever before, to carefully examine both the effectiveness and the consequences of their actions.
Citizens and companies are following these developments with a critical eye. They expect government authorities to be fully accountable with decision-making procedures which are as transparent and publicly accessible as possible and which are conducted with utmost care. They will not hesitate to demand that their rights are upheld. Consequently, it is increasingly important that government authorities may be relied upon to have their affairs in order.
Pels Rijcken is the preferred legal partner of local and provincial authorities because Pels Rijcken's specialists are thoroughly familiar with the new roles assigned to these local governments. This knowledge and experience equips them to assist their clients in complex legal and transformation processes and decisions. Their objective is to avoid legal proceedings wherever possible. However, the guiding principle in any given case is the political, administrative and social context, even if legal proceedings are inevitable.