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Standard Business Reporting

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

Before the introduction of the digital reporting framework Standard Business Reporting (SBR), companies were asked by various government agencies to deliver the same information in multiple ways. For the same data definitions, different data sets were used. This created for businesses a situation of unnecessary administrative burden, extra costs and frustration. For government agencies, it created a situation of not fully transparent, reliable or comparable data. For society, it resulted in a situation where tax money was spent on time-consuming, manual administrative processes instead of the core activities of the government. The Dutch government has implemented SBR in close cooperation with private stakeholders.

When starting, different principles were formulated that SBR would have to address on a higher level: the contribution to reduce administrative burden; the close cooperation between government and business; the realisation of reliable, comparable (financial) data; the adoption of technology to facilitate regulatory compliance; the possibility to re-use information to stimulate economic growth.

SBR is innovative because of the combination of three key principles: 1. Standardise on data definitions, processes and technologies throughout the information chain, cross-domain. 2. Cooperate between the public and private sector in a public private governance. 3. Adapt processes, laws and reporting frameworks if necessary in order to maximise efficiency.

SBR is not a product or a service, but a methodology in which all stakeholders determine a common set of standards, preferably open standards. That’s a new, proven and innovative concept. SBR does not prescribe any software, but merely agrees on standards (standards level playing field).

SBR now accommodates the exchange and processing of tax filings and financial reports on a large scale in the Netherlands. For the Netherlands, SBR is a cross-domain method and used by: The Tax Administration for about 40 information chains (with 17,000 intermediaries, working for all businesses (1.5 million) in The Netherlands; The Chamber of Commerce for the annual report that organisations (mandatory for 900,000 organisations) had to deliver to them (often via one of the 17,000 intermediaries); Statistics Netherlands for statistical information from entrepreneurs; Education Executive Agency (Ministry of Education) for the annual report from elementary school to university: 1667 in total; Intra governmental: all 11 ministries will use SBR for all financial systems concerning their yearly budget and the overall State budget; Banks: four major banks use SBR with their business clients for credit reports; Housing corporations will use SBR for sending their annual reports (and more) to their regulator.

The established growth in the use of SBR shows its success: a growing number of information chains using SBR (from 23 in 2015 to 47 in 2016), a growing number of SBR messages (from 8 million in 2014 to almost 30 million in 2016) next to an actual reduction of administrative burden, more financial transparency and higher quality of data.


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Award info
Award category: new solutions to complex challenges - european or national level
Award type: diploma
Award year: 2017
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity:
Keywords: Lowering administrative burden, creating transparency and accountability, cross- domain standardisation, define once
Short English description: Before the introduction of the digital reporting framework Standard Business Reporting (SBR), companies were asked by various government agencies to deliver the same information in multiple ways. For the same data definitions, different data sets were used. This created for businesses a situation of unnecessary administrative burden, extra costs and frustration. For government agencies, it created a situation of not fully transparent, reliable or comparable data. For society, it resulted in a situation where tax money was spent on time-consuming, manual administrative processes instead of the core activities of the government. The Dutch government has implemented SBR in close cooperation with private stakeholders.
Further information
Organisation: Logius
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.logius.nl/english
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Netherlands
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Standard Business Reporting (52.0785218, 4.340106500000047)
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