PM Announces Final Discussions to Have Integrity International Conduct Country Wide Integrity Asses

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams announced on Friday that St. Maarten is very close in making the necessary arrangements to have Transparency International Come to St. Maarten to conduct an Integrity Assessment.  

The Prime Minister explained that Government is an institution and within that institution significant strides are being conducted to ensure integrity in all sectors. "Integrity is by definition a collective noun and with that I mean that it is very broad and encompasses the handling of many issues regarding how we handle collectively and how we view certain standards, ethics and. When we talk about integrity it is not only about making laws but we need to collectively believe how certain things can be a breach of integrity or any law to that effect will be a paper tiger.

"The slogan of Government regarding integrity is that integrity at work starts with the individual and indeed it is about that realization. Oftentimes many criticize others about integrity but he or she themselves are breaching integrity. It is the way how we as community accept certain things. We started about creating that awareness, about researching who is most vulnerable and who would do certain things with regards to integrity rules.

"It is a learning program; we have had courses for not only workers but also for Ministers and government officials and in fact I have insisted that the Ministers participate in these discussions and courses.

"If the image of St. Maarten is one where integrity is totally lost it is about the institution. I wanted to get a sort of an assessment on where we stand collectively. Transparency International has done this assessment for many countries including the Netherlands, who also have issues and which has been made and reported with regards to integrity in various sectors. The assessment looks at various institutions including the media and the business sector were it will be evaluated and what will be done.

Having said that I am happy to announce that we are very close to finalizing the grant agreement in order to get that assessment going, something which is very important for the Country of St. Maarten. In the coming weeks I look forward to finalizing agreements which would enable Integrity International to conduct a country wide assessment so that we can know where we stand," concluded the Prime Minister.