Dutch government used to be surrounded by a densely populated ring of so-called planning agencies, think tanks, or centers for policy analysis in economics (Centraal Planbureau, CPB), and sociocultural (Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau, SCP), spatial (Ruimtelijk Planbureau, RPB) and environmental (Milieu- en Natuurplanbureau, MNP) issues. The government also worked with other legally mandated advisory bodies in policy sectors that somewhat mirrored divisions found in ministerial departments (e.g., in spatial planning, development aid, public health), as well as knowledge institutes for technology and innovation (TNO, Rathenau Institute), health and environment (RIVM), and statistics (CBS). After this network of cooperation was slimmed down in the late 1990s, the Balkenende IV cabinet sought to harmonize and further trim this network from 2007 to 2010. Even the number of highly reputed planning agencies was reduced by merging the MNP and RPB into one agency, the Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). In addition, the legal, financial and organizational status of the agencies – which were formally parts of departments, but with guarantees for scientific independence and rights to determine their own working programs – were harmonized. Several advisory bodies were either abolished or merged together in anticipation of broader, integrated policy fields. The recommendations made by these non-administrative advisory bodies are legally prescribed by the Government Information (Public Access) Act (WOB). However, the Council of Ministers is no longer obliged to respond. The watered-down function of advisory services in departments has been strengthened through the establishment of “knowledge chambers” and, following American and British practice, the appointment of “chief scientific officers” or “chief scientists” as advisory experts. The idea is that departments, depending on the nature of policy issues, may flexibly mobilize the required sciences and scientists, instead of relying on fixed advisory councils with fixed memberships. It appears that the political and governmental demand for advice is undergoing centralization and that there is a shift toward instrumental (rather than strategic) advice from less independent advisory bodies. Parliament’s access to services provided by planning agencies and advisory bodies has formally improved. But it is too early to tell whether parliament is going to use its increased opportunities for external advice.