Presentation By Island Councilmember Maria Buncamper-Molanus during Tuesday’s Island Council Meeting

The following is the presentation by Island Councilmember Maria Buncamper-Molanus during Tuesday’s Island Council Meeting. 

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Samenwerkingsregeling waarborging plannen van aanpak/ Cooperation agreement guarantee plans of action

IC meeting May 11th 2010

Originally scheduled for April 19th 2010

Although the Island Council meeting had already been scheduled for April 19th 2010, we are please that the Government after all convened a PCCA meeting in order for us to have a pre-discussion on the proposal before us. In fact the leader of government confirmed that this was a good meeting when he stated that we had fruitful discussion on May 6th. It is during this meeting that the DP faction was able to request additional information which would prove to be conducive to having a good debate in the Island Council. It is also during this meeting that the DP faction expressed its concerns about he proposal by the government to mandate the Executive Council to make minor changes without coming first to the IC for approval. This concern expressed during the PCCA was duly noted by the government and changes were made to the proposal by Government and presented during the meeting of the Island Council of May 11th 2010. This basically avoided any lengthy and unnecessary debate on this issue.

It is therefor important to make use of the structures put in place as this results in more efficiency in the decisions making process.

This cooperation agreement serves as a guarantee that the Countries St. Maarten and Curacao will carry out the action plans w.r.t. the tasks (federal) that are mentioned in the appendix and these are:

1. Law enforcement and Justice

a. Police, including the joint facilities police

b. Kingdom detective cooperation team RST

c. Prison

d. Prosecutors office

e. Council for the maintenance of law and order

f. Immigration

2. Good Governance

a. Advisory Council

b. Auditing Chamber

c. Ombudsman

d. Civil Registry

e. Main voting Bureau/Election council

f. Completeness and consistency of the administrative organization

g. Land Registry

3. Finance

Internal control function

The action plans are for the implementation of the improvements necessary for government’s operation to be able to meet the evaluation criteria as agreed upon in March 2006.

Where has this proposal been discussed?

The draft cooperation agreement has been debated and approved in the meeting of the Projectgroup "Justice, Law and order and Constitutional Affairs (PRRC) on December 9th 2009 and in the meeting of Political Steering Group on February 11th 2010.

Subsequently on February 19th 2010 – (2 months ago) the Dutch SS of Internal and Kingdom Affairs submitted the cooperation proposal to the Council of Kingdom Relations prior to it being sent to the Kingdom Council Of Ministers. The documents have been presented to the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Netherlands Antilles in the Hague first by email of February 22, 2010 en subsequently by diplomatic mail then to the Island Territories.

Prior to or before the handling of this proposed cooperation agreement in the Kingdom Council Of Ministers, The Island Councils is required to state its position. In fact in accordance with the November 12 2007 accord the Minister Plenipotentiary is expected to confirm that the Island Territories approve the proposal.

The government in its letter of April 12th 2010 proposes that, considering the preparations done in the Project Group and the Political Steering Group, the Island Council approves submitting the draft cooperation agreement to the Advisory Council of the Kingdom for advice.

In addition, the Executive Council is proposing that the Island Council mandates the Executive Council to decide on the content of the follow-up report with the condition that the Island Council will be required to approve any major changes in the event the Kingdom Council of Advice proposes such. (The latter is risky business; who is to determine what a minor or a major amendment is? At this stage the DP faction is very concerned about giving such a mandate.) The government amended it’s proposal after the PCCA and this is no longer part of the proposal.

The proposal as prepared by the Kingdom Government describes the proposal as follows:

The General Kingdom Measure encompasses the execution of the agreements made between the Netherlands, The Netherlands Antilles and the Island Territories Curacao and St. Maarten regarding cooperation with and the guarantee of the execution of the federal tasks which the new countries Curacao and St. Maarten are not able to carry out sufficiently or not at all after the transition date.

This agreement will then guarantee as of the transition date, that those tasks that the Countries Curacao and St. Maarten are not able to or are not sufficiently able to carry out, are executed on an acceptable level and that over a period of time these tasks are executed in accordance with the agreed upon criteria.

The Draft Proposal:

Article 1. Definitions

Article 2. Actions Plans:

If Country St. Maarten cannot or cannot sufficiently carry out a federal task the plan of action outlines the process according to which St. Maarten/Curacao should develop the ability to do so.

Article 3. Establishing the progress committee

Article 4: Appointment and dismissal of the members of the progress committee

The Kingdom Council of Minister appoints the chairperson and the other members of the progress committee

A member appointed by the new country sxm proposed by the prime minister (SXM)

A member appointed by the Netherlands proposed by the prime minister of the Netherlands

A member who will also be the chairman jointly proposed by the council of ministers of SXM and the Netherlands.

The committee will exist for as long as this legislation is valid which in first instance is 2 years but extension is possible.

Article 5: Incompatibility and other functions

Article 6: Executing body

Article 7: Decision making

Article 8: Admittance: No restrictions to carrying out their work in one of the countries. Members will be admitted.

Article 9: Cost: 50% – 50% The Netherlands – SxM

Chapter 4: Ministerial Consultation

Article 10: Establishing the ministerial consultation

Prime Minister SXM – Minister Kingdom Affairs –Prime Minister The Netherlands if separate plans and separate committees. What if joint plans. Is the EXCO in favour of having one plan of action with country Curacao? Government indicated that is will opt for separate plans of action as the needs for St. Maarten are different than the needs of Curacao.

Article 11: Support

Article 12: The decision-making process

In the event no agreement can be reached in the ministerial consultation, then the Minister of Internal and Kingdom affairs of the Netherlands inform, the Kingdom Council of ministers accordingly.

Article 13: Meetings

Chapter 5: The Tasks and the cooperation by our ministers of our Country (SXM)

Article 14: The tasks of the ministers of the Country (SXM) (CUR)

The Ministers of SXM/CUR are responsible for carrying out the action plans within the timeframe. The reporting to the monitoring committee is regulated.

Article 15. Progress report –

Quarterly to the Dutch Minister of Internal and Kingdom Affairs and to the Parliament of SXM/Cur.

Article 16. Extending Cooperation

Providing cooperation and access to all government buildings, access to all goods, administrations, documents and other information.

Article 17 The responsibilities of the Progress Committee

Article 18 Progress report – Quarterly

Article 19 Responsibility of reporting by the monitoring committee (Accountability)

Article 20 Instructions – Can be given by the Ministerial Consultation

Article 21 Under – performance (steps can be taken in case this occurs)

Article 22: Secrecy

Chapter 7: The tasks of the ministerial consultation

Article 23: The tasks of the ministerial consultation

· Make Recommendations for amending and approving the action plans

· To ratify the completion of the implementation of the action plans.

Chapter 8 Amending one of the action plans

Article 24: Amending one of the action plans

Article 25: Recommendation from the monitoring committee for an amendment

Article 26: The reaction from the Minister of SXM

Article 27: The recommendation for an amendment by the ministerial consultation

Article 28: The reaction from the Minister form SXM/CUR

Article 29: Advice to amended initiated by the SXM/Cur Minister

Article 30: Ratification of the amendment of the Action Plan

Chapter 9: The amendment of the implementation of the action plan

Article 31: amendment of the implementation of the action plan

Article 32: The recommendation to amend the action plan

Article 33: The reaction by our Minister of SXM/Cur

Article 34: The recommendation to amend by the ministerial consultation

Article 35: The reaction from the Minister form SXM/CUR

Article 36: Advice regarding the implementation of the Action Plan

Article 37: Completion of the implementation of the action plan


Article 38: Setting conditions: The Kingdom Council Of Ministers can set conditions w.r.t the action plans or the implementation thereof.

Chapter 11. APPEAL

Article 39: Crown Appeal: The SXM Minister can appeal the decision of the Kingdom Council of Ministers within 30 days. Article 39 sub 4 and article 40 sub 4 refers to articles in the "General constitutional law" (Algemene wet bestuursrecht), which are applicable in the event that a decision by the Kingdom Council of Ministers is appealed by the Minister of SXM/Cur. Please provide these articles for completeness sake. Were provided after requested in the PCCA

Sub 7 states that the execution of the decision of the Kingdom Council Ministers is not interrupted/stopped during the appeal process – Does the Executive Council agree with this? How long could the appeal process take? We can gather from the draft proposal that is can take more than three months.

Article 40: Request for a temporary measure

In the event a decision is being appealed a temporary measure can be taken.


Article 41: After completion of the task, all documents of the progress committee will be kept in the archives of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and copies will be sent to the Dutch Minister of internal and kingdom affairs. Why are no copies sent to the ministers of the Country SXM/Cur.

Article 42: Commencement date, expiration and extension: This regulation becomes applicable the moment the article I and II of the Kingdom Law amending the Constitution to dissolve the Netherlands Antilles. This regulation expires after two years. The moment that it has been confirmed that all plans of actions have been implemented, this regulation is dissolved. This regulation can be extended by two years.

Article 43: This resolution is titled "Cooperation Agreement guarantee plans of action Country Tasks Curacao and St. Maarten.

What is the EXCO’s position regarding the workload being placed on the Prime Minister w.r.t. this agreement?

Have the central government civil servants who work in the recently transferred ministries to t. Maarten received their assignments during the transition period. These civil servants in a decision of the central government have been seconded since April 19th 2010. Has the Island Government now done their part?

During the debate in the Central Committee on the social charter, it became clear that the Island Government has not received the requested information necessary to prepare for the integration of the Central Government workers into the new government organization of country St. Maarten. Can the Executive Council please inform the IC of the preparations being made for the transfer of the Central Government Civil servants to Country St. Maarten.