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Former Commissioner of Finance and Island Council Member Roy Marlin stated today that he is totally flabbergasted by the statement of Minister of Telecommunications Mr. Patrick Illidge in regards to St. Maarten having to set up service level agreements with different institutions in Curacao. The Minister in his statement blames the DP party for turning back young professionals stating they are overqualified and that the DP should have hired these persons to fill these functions since 2000. What comes first the chicken or the egg? In this case if decisions were taken by the Central Government to transfer task per X date then the Executive Council could have gone ahead and hire persons to fill these functions and execute the task. Unfortunately under the NA Central Government since 2006 not one single task was transferred. Should we have hired persons since 2000 to just sit on the sidelines waiting on the Central Government to transfer task.

The Minister refers to Winair and hopes Winair can grow like Insel Air. Who has been in charge of Winair for the past 4 years in the Central Government? It sure wasn’t the Democratic Party. Who has been charged with transferring the shares of Winair during the past 4 years? It sure wasn’t the Democratic Party. Who has been in charge of transferring task from the Central Government, such as the authority on Telecommunications, it sure wasn’t the Democratic Party. Since June of 2009 the NA has been in both levels of government and this is ample time for the Executive Council to have prepared for the authority since the final decision was made at the end of June 2009 that 10/10/10 would be the date. Didn’t the leader of Government state after the political consultation at the end of June that the Netherlands was going to assist in setting up the departments for country St. Maarten? The Democratic Party left behind the complete plan for the setting up of the National Health Insurance scheme, legislation on Telecommunications and the new structure for the Telecommunications Bureau for Country St. Maarten. What happened to these plans? Today we are talking about a service level agreement with the SVB. It sure hasn’t been the Democratic Party in charge of the SVB for the past 4 years and transferring this authority to St. Maarten. Oh how the Minister conveniently forget that during the past 4 years the National Alliance has been represented in the Central Government by 2 senators, 1 minister and 1 state secretary without any transfer of authority taking place during their term. This was done because the NA in the Central Government didn’t want to let things happen for the benefit of St. Maarten. I want to refresh the memory of the Minister to June 24, 2009 when Commissioner William Marlin and Prime Minister Emily de Jongh signed the so called budget neutral branch offices accord and the agreement of June 25, 2009 signed between Commissioner Marlin and State Secretary Bijleveld at which signing the Commissioner stated "This will see the Dutch Government working closely in July 2009 with St. Maarten to ascertain the expertise needed. The public will see setting up of offices or the expansion of service departments and agencies overseen by the Central Government in St. Maarten" Since these agreements were signed how much was done by the Central Government in executing these 2 agreements. By the way the now Minister Illidge wasn’t functioning as state secretary since these agreements were signed? What did he do to champion the execution of these agreements?

The Minister goes on to state about computers and internet accessibility to all children on St. Maarten and indicates that this offer was made by the Central Government but the former government never picked up this matter. When, how and by whom was this offer made and can the Minister present documentation to substantiate this statement. If this offer was made why wasn’t it picked up by the NA Executive Council and executed since June 8, 2009 when they took office. I would want to advise the Minister to tackle the transfer of the authority by enacting the legislation and passing this through parliament. Let the Executive Council and the Island Council determine the need for Service level agreements for St. Maarten, yes or no. In which capacity is the Minister talking and making decisions about service level agreement for St. Maarten? The Minister is neither a member of the Executive Council nor the Island Council. You can sure bet that he would not get involved in matters pertaining to what Curacao or the other islands are capable of doing, so why all of a sudden the Minister can determine beforehand what St. Maarten is capable of doing or not doing? Is the Minister taking these actions on behalf of a member of the Executive Council, the Executive Council or maybe his party leadership? In Dutch we say "schoenmaker blijf bij je leest". The Minister should stick to what he is appointed to do, which is build the agencies and department needed for country St. Maarten and let the Executive and Island Council determine what St. Maarten is not capable of handling.