Plasterk proceeds with integrity measure St Maarten

The Daily Herald writes that the Kingdom Council of Ministers decided on March 6 to proceed with the establishing of an integrity supervisory body for St. Maarten through a so-called General Measure of the Kingdom Government (“Algemene Maatregel van Rijksbestuur”AMvRB).

Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk confirmed in a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Monday, which was made public on Wednesday, that the draft resolution had been sent to the Kingdom Council of State for advice.

Plasterk stated that the consultations with St. Maarten in the past months to reach a consensus on a joint approach to address the integrity problem in government had not yielded any results so far. The Kingdom Council of Ministers decided late January this year that it would initiate the process of an AMvRB to establish an integrity watchdog.

“The St. Maarten Government has displayed insufficient willingness to reshape its plans to establish an Integrity Chamber and move to a vigorous execution of such in a way that safeguards an effective approach to the problem at hand,” he stated. The minister emphasised, as he has done on earlier occasions, that the Integrity Chamber, or Integrity Committee as it is being referred to, had to be able to operate fully independently, free of influence from government.

“The existing system of mutual support and dependencies that exists in all layers of society and the public administration of St. Maarten, with all secondary integrity issues, requires an accurate and independent approach with sufficient capacity and means,” Plasterk stated.

He stated that during the process of rendering advice of the Council of State and the imposing of an AMvRB, there always remained a possibility to reach a consensus with St. Maarten on the establishing of an Integrity Chamber.

In his letter, Plasterk further addressed the progress of talks between the four countries of the Kingdom to strengthen the law enforcement system on Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. The four countries are still in the process of working out the details of a broad multi-annual plan to strengthen the law enforcement system in all of its aspects. The intention is to strengthen the Prosecutor’s Offices in the three overseas countries, the Detective Cooperation Team RST and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussees. Plasterk promised to provide more details on this plan, for which the initiative was taken during the so-called Judicial Four-Party Consultation in January this year, in the second quarter of 2015.

The Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations will have a general debate with Plasterk next Tuesday about the state of governance of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.

Ronald-Plasterk

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