Public Agility and Change in a Network Environment


  • Tom van Engers University of Amsterdam Leibniz Center for Law
  • Alexander Boer University of Amsterdam Leibniz Center for Law



legislation, change, adaptability, legal service, process, (non)compliance


Preparing for change is increasingly core business for governmental organizations. The networked society and the increasing connectedness of governmental organizations have as much impact on the complexity of the change process as the complexities of the corpus of law. Change is not only driven by changes in the law; changes in the organization’s environment often create a need to redesign business processes, reallocate roles and responsibilities, and reorder tasks. Moreover, preparations for change are not limited to the internal processes and systems of these organizations. Propagation of changes to network partners and redesign of network arrangements can be an enormous challenge. In the AGILE project, we develop a design method, distributed service architecture, and supporting tools that enable organizations - administrative and otherwise - to orchestrate their law-based services in a networked environment. This paper explains the Agile approach and describes some of its key principles.


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Author Biographies

Tom van Engers, University of Amsterdam Leibniz Center for Law

Van Engers (1961) studied Cognitive Artificial Intelligence at the Utrecht University and received his PhD at the faculty Mathematics and Information Sciences at the Free University in Amsterdam. He has worked at the Ministry of Finance in different functions amongst them as research manager. Van Engers is professor in Legal Knowledge Management at the University of Amsterdam and managing director of the Leibniz Center for Law. Van Engers coordinated several international research projects such as E-Power, Trias Telematica, Estrella and SEAL (see for more information the Leibniz Center for Law website: His research is particularly focused on Rule Governance and Legal Engineering in which artificial intelligence and design methods from computer sciences are combined with legal reasoning.

Alexander Boer, University of Amsterdam Leibniz Center for Law

Alexander is a senior researcher of the Leibniz Center for Law at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include computational legal theory, legal ontology, e-Government, and generally the development of innovative concepts for the application of IT in the field of law. Dr. Boer worked on MetaLex XML, and chaired the technical committee of the MetaLex CEN/ISSS workshop for several years. He received his MA degree in social science informatics, and his PhD degree in Computational Legal Theory (Law) from the University of Amsterdam.




How to Cite

van Engers, T., & Boer, A. (2011). Public Agility and Change in a Network Environment. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 3(1), 99–117.



Research Papers