Affiliations: Ministerie van Justitie, Directie Algemene Justitiële Strategie, Postbus 20301, 2500 EH Den Haag, The Netherlands Tel.: +31 70 370 69 61; E‐mail: jgrijpin@best‐dep.minjus.nl
Note:  J.H.A.M. Grijpink (1946) studied Economics (1969) and Law (1971) at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He received his doctor’s degree (1997) at the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He is Principal Adviser at the Dutch Ministry of Justice. He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and a Registered Information Expert (RI)
Abstract: In two articlesSee: Chain‐computerisation for better privacy protection, p. 95 of this issue. the author presents some key elements from his recently completed thesis about functional, non‐intrusive information infrastructures for interorganisational public policy implementation. The development of these information infrastructures requires a new approach, chain‐computerisation, based on new concepts and practices. This methodology is vital for public administration, if the problems associated with interorganisational policy implementation are to be overcome. Chain‐computerisation recognises the impossibility in many interorganisational settings of implementing government policy, because no single organisational actor has authority over the system. Thus, for example, a Dutch requirement that prisoners serving longer prison sentences must notify the Benefits system so that benefit paid can be adjusted, cannot be enforced because this multi‐agency setting is too complex to allow adequate co‐ordinated control. What is needed is an informational solution which automatically signals to the Imprisonment system that a prisoner is receiving benefits. Such highly automated communication systems can also protect privacy, in this particular example by signalling that a note must be sent by the prisoner to his benefit agency rather than by triggering enforcement by the Imprisonment system without the prisoner concerned knowing it. This methodology can be seen as emerged from “lessons learned” during the period that the author was responsible for the development of information policies at the Dutch Ministry of Justice. Chain‐computerisation is explained here by means of examples taken from the penal and social welfare systems, but it should be emphasized that the methodology of chain‐computerisation can be applied to many other situations where public policy is to be implemented by close co‐operation of many autonomous public and private organisations.