UP PRESS STATEMENT Formalistic Procedures within Government


The Minister of Justice Roland Duncan recently stated that Sint Maarten procedures are too formalistic where procedures are being more cumbersome than those in the Netherlands.

The Minister’s comments were related to the process of the Brooks Tower Accord (BTA) which established a framework for those persons who lived on the island for years to regulate their immigration status. The Minister was reported to have said in a radio interview that all the other Ministries washed their hands of the BTA especially Social Affairs and how the people were treated like they were animals.



The Minister also added that the Civil Registry had to understand that birth certificates and marriage certificates don’t change much, and that Social and Labour Affairs Departments decided to shut down the BTA category two process last November and not give the people the opportunity to complete the procedure to regulate their status.

Justice and Labour Ministry officials recently announced that the Immigration Mobile Unit (IMU)will begin shortly with checking businesses and other places to make sure workers have the proper documents to live and work on the island.

The Minister wants to avoid IMU officers being told by workers that they are waiting on papers or documents still being processed by the Labour Department or by Immigration.

The Minister also added the Social and Health Insurance SZV agency to his lists of entities that also delays the process of many people obtaining relevant documents to apply for permit renewals.

This is very disturbing with respect to the lack of coordination within the Government apparatus up to the end of December. We have to have all Ministries and Departments on-board in order to provide the best of service to the community.

We are a country now and we need to step up because we cannot blame anybody anymore for our inadequacies. The buck stops at each department and Ministry. It is in the interests of all, our citizens, including the business community and investors that we strive to provide the best services in a caring and professional manner.

It is the reputation of country Sint Maarten that is at stake. Let us all work together for a better Sint Maarten.

Sylvia Meyers

Interim Faction Leader United People’s (UP) party

Member of Parliament