Prime Minister Explains Integrity, Job Creation and Capacity Building in “Governing for the People”

Photocaption: The Prime Minister at the Information Section for General Affairs where she gave information on her Ministries various projects and initiatives during last week’s launch of the Governing Program.


Integrity a Critical Component of Good Governance

The Prime Minister the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams, as part of increasing awareness on the items covered in the Governing Program (GP), issued a media brief concerning the plans laid out in the GP regarding the civil service of Government, Recruitment and Job Creation and Integrity. "Governments throughout the world are supporting good governance by strengthening the capacity and quality of their public agencies through public sector modernization and improved financial management. Good governance, including good corporate governance, is also highly considered in the decision-making processes of this government. Laws governing corporate governance were already established by the island territory of St. Maarten and will be emphasized," reads a chapter directly from the Governing Program.

The Prime Minister stated that in working for the people the government views integrity as a critical component of good governance and the delivery of quality public service as essential to effective government. "In order to accomplish both, government has set out to improve the quality and capacity of its public institutions. Mindful of the importance of good governance to our social and economic development as well as our international standing, this government underscores the need for our civil service to operate according to international standards while effectively managing the islands resources. Hence, the St. Maarten Government has made a conscious choice as an organization to consistently act according to applicable rules, norms, values and ethical standards and laws, and to this end has embarked on an ambitious integrity project," commented the Prime Minister.

The PM also explained that integrity will also be reflected in the manner in which new members of the civil service are recruited and current members are promoted. "Public service personnel should be qualified, well-trained, efficient and courteous. The existing recruitment policy will be adjusted to accommodate the constitutional changes. The performance management system, selected by government as a tool to measure and reward the performance of its personnel, will be reviewed in terms of relevance. Civil servants will also be held accountable for their performance in the delivery of public services and the relevant departments will be requested to devise and implement multi-sectoral strategies," continued the PM. The service to the public will be delivered in a more efficient manner, leading to less duplication of resources and the cutting back on the waiting time in public offices. "These strategies should lead to a more effective operation and ultimately to the concept of the Public Service Center," according to the PM.

Similarly, the Government of St. Maarten has also placed an emphasis on Capacity Building within the Civil Service. "The Government of St Maarten has initiated several projects to allow civil servants to acquire knowledge and skills, required to function optimally in the new government structure. These projects constitute the program ‘Istitutionele Versterking Bestuurskracht’, executed in cooperation between the Netherlands and St. Maarten, with funds managed by USONA," stated the Prime Minister. The original objective of the project is to increase the knowledge, experience and skills of public servants. Through job-specific training, General training and exchange programs.