The COA tasks have been laid down in the COA Act. Article 3 of this Act states:
1. The COA is in charge of:
- the material and immaterial reception of asylum seekers
- placement of asylum seekers in a reception centre
- placement of asylum seekers in municipal reception centres and payment of contributions to the respective municipalities for the costs of this reception centre
- intermediary activities regarding the outflow of persons entitled to a residence permit to accommodation made available by the mayor and aldermen
- other tasks as assigned by the Minister to the COA, connected with the reception of asylum seekers
2. Our Minister can assign tasks to the COA, as referred to in the first paragraph regarding other categories of aliens.
3. In regulations, our Minister may set rules regarding the provisions to asylum seekers as referred to in the second paragraph.
The COA has following tasks:
- Receive asylum seekers. The COA receives asylum seekers and accommodates them in COA-locations until the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has decided on their asylum application.
- Giving support to asylum seekers. Asylum seekers are independent and responsible for their own lives. The COA supports them in a future in the Netherlands or elsewhere. Together with the respective partners we prepare asylum seekers for integration and (work) participation in the Netherlands, or we contribute to a repatriation with prospects.
- Supply goods. The COA provides the asylum seekers with bedding inter alia, and the first items to furnish their room.
- Pay a weekly allowance to asylum seekers. This is laid down in the Regulations for Provisions for Asylum Seekers and other categories of foreign nationals (Rva).
- Acquire, manage and close reception centres. The COA is responsible for a sufficient number of reception centres for asylum seekers that have been allowed into the asylum procedures. We realise reception centres all over the Netherlands and negotiate with municipalities for that purpose. We are flexible in our reaction to the nature and size of the inflow and outflow of asylum seekers.
- Maintain the safety and quality of life in the reception centres. The COA-staff is trained in conflict control. There is 24/7 security staff in a reception centre.
- Execute the Regulations for Provisions for Certain Categories of Foreign Nationals. These regulations provide for an allowance to persons not eligible for the asylum procedure but who do have lawful stay in the Netherlands.