Members of the Saba Island Council left for Bonaire on Monday, May 16. The main goal of the trip to Bonaire is to attend a three-day course on ‘Open Governance’, facilitated by the Bonaire company Konsiliare BV.
Also on the program this week are meetings with the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN and the Immigration and Naturalization Service IND, as well as a visit to the Tabitha women’s refuge and the Department of Agriculture, Husbandry and Fisheries LVV.
Subjects that will come up during the Open Governance course include legislation, principles guiding transparency and accountability, structure and nature of government, openness between the Executive Council and the Island Council, the openness of government with society, publication of decisions, and achieving good and democratic governance.
The idea to attend the Open Governance course came from Councilman Vito Charles. He came across the course and suggested to his colleagues that partaking in a course like this would positively contribute to their knowledge of governance and transparency.
“As an Island Council, we are constantly trying to improve how we function. However, as we live on an island it is difficult to interact with other Council Members and professionals in the Dutch Caribbean to exchange knowledge and ideas about legislation and legislative procedures. Also, due to COVID-19, networking and educational opportunities were severely limited in the last two years,” said Charles.
“We saw this course as an opportunity to learn more about how the Island Council can more effectively use the tools that are available to us to obtain more transparency from the government which ultimately means more information for the Saba people on the decisions taken by The Executive Council. Even though we have only completed the first day, my colleagues and I are gaining significant insight to assist us in executing our tasks,” said Charles on Tuesday.
The Saba Island Council delegation consists of Council Members Esmeralda Johnson, Vito Charles, Carl Buncamper, Hemmie van Xanten and Eviton Heyliger, and Island Council Registrar Akilah Levenstone. The delegation is back on Saba next week Tuesday, May 24.