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: This is the second1 of a series of two articles in which 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. The methodology of chain‐computerisation can be applied to many situations where public policy is to be implemented under close co‐operation between many autonomous public and private organisations. The first article gave a brief description of the new approach, chain‐computerisation, on the basis of some examples. The emphasis was placed on the management aspect: the streamlining of information exchange within and between value chains. In this second article the emphasis is placed on the social significance of chain‐computerisation, which brings about information infrastructures with which privacy and anonymous legal transactions can better be supported. System concepts for the organisational border‐transgressing exchange of information are not merely a question of technology, but also determine the quality of the information society through the way in which the computerisation of society takes place. It is for this reason that policy makers will have to involve themselves more in those system concepts. To them, the new chain‐computerisation approach incorporates an alternative to traditional system concepts. This alternative at the same time clarifies implicit social choices in the traditional system concepts. It will be clear that the examples used here reflect the legal context of the Netherlands or the European Union, but the insights described can also be applied to other governmental and legal cultures.