To identify risk factors that foster corruption and identify medium and long term solutions to help reduce risks
While St. Maarten was celebrating the Easter Holidays this past weekend, the Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams revealed that contact has been made with international transparency and anti-corruption body Transparency International regarding conducting a National Integrity System (NIS) assessment.
Initial contact was made about 2 weeks ago and follow up is expected to take place this week.
Prime minister Wescot is responsible for the workings of government, the so-called Internal Affairs, under which the Integrity program falls.
During last year’s budget handling in Parliament, the Prime Minister already announced that a NIS would be conducted as part of the Integrity Program.
"A National Integrity System assessment evaluates the principal institutions and actors that form a state, including all branches of government, the media, the public and private sectors, and civil society. The purpose of such a study is to identify the risk factors in a given country that foster corruption as well as medium and long-term solutions to help reduce those risks.
No matter how overt and obvious its consequences are for society, corruption is a crime that prefers to remain covert and concealed. It can take root in many areas of a society, whether in government or law enforcement, or among other actors like the media, business, political parties and so on.
Transparency International developed the National Integrity System approach as a comprehensive means of assessing a country’s anti-corruption efficacy sector by sector. It allows a nuanced analysis of national efforts to stamp out corruption.
PILLARS OF NATIONAL INTEGRITY
The National Integrity System evaluates key ‘pillars’ in a country’s governance system, both in terms of their internal corruption risks and their contribution to fighting corruption in society at large.
When all the pillars in a National Integrity System are functioning well, corruption remains in check. If some or all of the pillars wobble, these weaknesses can allow corruption to thrive and damage a society.
The pillars analyzed in a National Integrity System assessment typically include: the legislative branch of government, the executive branch of government, the Judiciary, the Public sector, Law enforcement, Electoral management body, the Ombudsman, the Audit institution, Anti-corruption agencies, Political parties, the Media, Civil society, and Business.
NATIONAL INTEGRITY SYSTEM ASSESSMENTS
A National Integrity System assessment examines both the formal framework of each pillar and the actual institutional practice. The analysis highlights discrepancies between the formal provisions and reality on the ground, making it clear where there is room for improvement.
The analysis is undertaken via a consultative approach, involving the key anti-corruption agents in government, civil society, the business community and other sectors.
Conclusions are drawn together in a comprehensive national report to build momentum, political will and civic pressure for relevant reform initiatives.
According to the TI site the program will ultimately result in a strengthening the National Integrity System promotes better governance across all aspects of a society and contributes to a more just society overall.