Policy rule with regard to informers (anonymous and non-anonymous)

When investigating violations of the laws and regulations it enforces, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) relies on information. If individuals have information on potential violations, it is vital that these individuals come forward and inform ACM thereof. Such information may prove very useful for investigations into violations. In practice, individuals that have such valuable information often prefer to remain anonymous. ACM therefore offers the option of bringing information on possible violations to the attention anonymously. This policy rule explains what the options are for that, and what the basic principles are. In addition, this policy rule addresses the question of how and to whom informers can come forward, and what they can expect from ACM.

Individuals who have information that may contain clues about potential violations will be designated as informers in this policy rule. Two types of informers are distinguished in paragraph 2 and 3. If individuals wish not to disclose their identities to ACM, they are considered anonymous informers. Their anonymity will be guaranteed. Anonymous informers have the option of contacting ACM through intermediaries, for example, lawyers.

If individuals wish their identities to be known to ACM, but not outside ACM, they are called informers. As a rule, their identity will be unknown outside ACM. There are, however, special situations in which ACM cannot guarantee the anonymity of these informers. This policy rule explains the extent to which ACM is able to guarantee the informer’s anonymity. As the policy sees to informers (anonymous and non-anonymous), it does not apply to interested parties that file an application with ACM for issuing an enforcement decision.