Parliament’s right to obtain government documents is stipulated in the constitution. The government is obliged to respond to such requests for information within six weeks of their receipt, a period which is generally respected. Parliamentary committees face no difficulties in obtaining the government documents they need for their work. Delays may occur when needed information is required from a third party. For the most part, reports are already written in such a way that sensitive information is worded in a careful manner.
During the Balkenende IV period, parliament members criticized the prime minister for withholding information regarding the invasion of Iraq. The criticisms focused on the fact that in 2002 and 2003, the Balkenende I cabinet provided only selective information to members of parliament. From 2003 to 2009, the prime minister used his political influence to stall a parliamentary inquiry. Eventually in 2009 and 2010, resistance to an inquiry was broken, and evidence of strategic information being held was found with regard to Iraq and other issues.
Bos verwijt Van Middelkoop achterhouden NAVO-verzoek, Nova, 2 april 2010: http://www.novatv.nl/page/detail/uitzendingen/7705/Bos+verwijt+Van+Middelkoop+achterhouden+NAVO-verzoek
Oppositie wil opheldering achterhouden Irak-advies, Nu.nl, 17 januari 2009: http://www.nu.nl/algemeen/1901184/oppositie-wil-opheldering-achterhouden-irak-advies.html
Stevige kritiek oppositie in debat-Davids, NRC, 16 februari 2010: http://www.trouw.nl/opinie/letter-en-geest/article2059403.ece/Red_het_parlement__.html?part=2