Kingdom Council of Ministers Defers Plans on Integrity Assessment for St. Maarten

Based on Activities Already Undertaken to Combat Corruption

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Announces Concrete Agreements For Integrity International to do Country Wide Integrity Assessment

Due to the steps already being taken by the Cabinet of the Prime Minister and Government of St. Maarten regarding Integrity, the plans of the Kingdom Council of Ministers to instruct the Governor of St. Maarten His Excellency Eugene Holiday to investigate the integrity of the Country have been put on hold.


During her weekly radio program One on One with the Prime Minister, the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams stated that based on the steps already being taken, including concrete arrangements with Transparency International and the moving for the approval of the Legislation for the establishment of an Integrity Bureau, the Kingdom Council of Ministers has deferred the handling of the topic until St. Maarten gives its position on their steps towards ensuring integrity.

"Since July of this year the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte announced the intention to instruct the Governor of St. Maarten to carry out an integrity or corruption assessment for St. Maarten. When we took notice of this we objected on more than one ground when we received a copy of the proposal to be handled and that matter too was to be on the agenda. However, the Kingdom Council of Ministers has deferred the handling of that topic and that gives us the opportunity to give our decision regarding that assessment via our Minister Plenipotentiary the Honorable Mathias Voges. Our main objection is centered on the point that St. Maarten has been doing all that is necessary to combat corruption and lack of integrity. For example I am happy to announce that we have an approval for an agreement by Transparency International to conduct an integrity assessment on St. Maarten. This coming week we will be formalizing this in the Council of Ministers as we continue with the legislation necessary for the establishment of an Integrity Bureau. That legislation has been started and we have already been offering for some time training and workshops across the board," stated the PM.

The Prime Minister also commented that the Minister of Justice the Honorable Dennis Richardson has also proposed an integrity quick scan in the short term. "The Minister of Justice has proposed a quick-scan integrity assessment while we wait for a longer term assessment. It is therefore not necessary to instruct the Governor to do an assessment. There is also no legal basis for the Kingdom Council of Ministers to act on the internal matters of the country. We are very particular about setting a wrong precedent in interfering with the matters of Country or Countries within the Kingdom. We now have been given the opportunity to present our case so that the Kingdom Government does not have to interfere in the matter," concluded Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.