Dear Mr. Chairman and Lt. Governor,
Making use of my rights as the leader of a legally established political party on Saba and within the Netherlands Antilles without any representation in the Island Council or the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles, and in accordance with the Federal Ordinance on Openness of Government P.B. 1996 (transparency) I would hereby like to request the following information (documentation) which does not go against the national security of the Netherlands Antilles or the Island Territory of Saba.
I am forwarding this correspondence to you based on the fact that you are responsible for the portfolio of Personnel and Organizational Affairs within the Executive Council of the Island Territory of Saba.
In the month of November 2008 civil servants in the employment of the Island Territory of Saba realized that on their salary slip there was an amount of money that they should have received as a form of retroactive payment on their periodical allowances (periodiek verhoging) which should have been regulated ever since 2002 when it was agreed upon by the Central Government for this money to be reinstated.
In the month of January the Executive Council came with some excuse regarding why the money was not paid out, and to date the Executive Council cannot gave a clear cut answer to the many inquiries regarding this back pay that civil servants are entitled to by law. Civil servants have been told that the whole issue is in the hands of the CFT and the Dutch Government. You will realize and understand that the CFT neither the Dutch Government employs the civil servants on Saba, and it is the Executive Council of Saba that is responsible for this money to be paid out.
Civil servants have been told that the money to pay out this is included in the old debts that the Island Territory submitted to the Dutch Government for payment. We have taken note that the Island Territory of Bonaire recently received word from the Dutch Government that some of their old bills will be paid off by the Netherlands, and that there are several bills that they will not pay and there are discussions presently on-going between the Executive Council of the Island Territory of Bonaire and the Netherlands regarding the old bills that still needs to be paid off.
The Commissioner of Finance of the Island Territory of Saba much earlier this year, stated publicly that the Island Territory of Saba did not have any outstanding bills and I can recall him publicly saying on the radio program "Changes" that the Island Territory of Saba had paid up its outstanding bills to N.V. G.EBE and Satel N.V. and that most creditors were being paid up.
According to my sources the Islands of the Netherlands Antilles, including the Island Territory of Saba, were in arrears with the APNA, SVB and other creditors and in the agreements between the Central Government and Holland these bills were being taken care of and would be paid off as part of the debt restructuring. So the question is then who does the Island Government of Saba owe different from those major creditors such as the SVB and APNA?
My question based on all of the above to you would be when can civil servants on Saba expect some clarity in regards to what government owes to them as back pay, and what serious attempts has been made by the Executive Council to try and speed up the process with the Dutch Government to clear up these outstanding bills that forms part of the monies to pay the civil servants.
Civil servants has had to read in the public papers The Daily Herald and the Government Information Bulletin that the year reports etc. needed to be completed etc. and according to our information the annual reports has been prepared by the external accountants, but to date they have not been brought on the floor of the Island Council for ratification.
We realize that the Executive Council of Saba is traveling up and down as if they do not owe the civil servants, and civil servants are expected to function in a professional manner on a daily basis. There are many questions that can be raised as to why government has not found it fitting to at least start trying to pay the civil servants something on a monthly basis until this whole matter can be solved amicably.
The manner in which the Executive Council is treating civil servants can be considered as if civil servants do not count and Government will do as they please where it concerns this back pay. Patients are running out, and many civil servants are strongly considering taking this matter to the Courts of the Netherlands Antilles which would not be in the general interest of the Executive Council.
As portfolio holder of personnel affairs I would like to urge you as the upholder of proper and good governance to seek clarity on this matter before it has to take on another route. Politicians at times tell people what they think people like to hear, but in your capacity as Lt. Governor you are above the party politics.
You would realize that civil servants also have commitments and with the meager salaries that they have to live from on an expensive island they need some clarity on this money. Government has not done anything to try and help the situation on the island where it concerns the high cost of everything. Instead Government has cooperated fully to help increase everything on the island and continue to subsidize private enterprise.
Sincerely yours and I look forward based on the Openness in Government Ordinance to receive a response from you as stipulated in the ordinance.
c.c: Governor General of the Netherlands Antilles.
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles.
Queen’s Commissioner Mr. Henk Kamp.
Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles.