“I have mixed feelings about this recent development regarding the instruction issued to our governor, says Lenny F. Priest!

The OSPP has been paying keen attention to the recent developments regarding the instructions given to Governor Holiday by the Dutch Kingdom Council of Minister. This instruction in our opinion is baseless to say the least. After the 2014 election the NA/DP/US government was being formed and they had reached a point of signing an agreement to work together. This information was conveyed to the entire world including the Dutch. However, at no time did the Kingdom Council of Ministers issue an instruction to the governor regarding the screening process for the ministers in St. Maarten. Had the Kingdom Council of Ministers issued such an instruction at that time we would have objected basically the same. St. Maarten obtained its’ separate status on October 10, 2010, a new country entering rough waters for the first time with lots of rules and regulations, more than any other country within the Kingdom. No one can disagree or deny that our government and members of parliament brought on shame to this country over the last four years and they seem to be continuing in the same trend after election 2014. We have had three integrity investigations carried out during our first four years in existence. All three of those investigations have yielded some astonishing developments within our governments and they have made some recommendations to improve the functioning of the government, thereby providing better service to the people. Several of the members supporting the incoming government refer to the findings of the investigations and recommendations as melee. Are we to conclude that they don’t support the recommendations made to improve the integrity of our government? What findings do they have to support that the reports are just melee, nonfactual and baseless?
Neither the less to say we are still what surprised that after those reports were released the government of St. Maarten still saw it fit to issue not one but various new casino licenses. The existent casinos owe the government millions of guilders in fees and other taxes but the small man continues to have to pay their taxes through their noses. We have also witnessed the fact that the government of St. Maarten during the integrity investigations period purchased land, namely the Vorst Estate way above the market price per square meter. The Dutch have a saying (Het dweilen met de kraan open – Mopping up with the faucets running water) Do you still asked why some people support the move by the Dutch government?
The OSPP supports the call for St. Maarten to continue to utilize the screening process that have worked for us between 2010 and 2014 and should the Dutch government have recommendations to improve this process, have them forward those recommendations to the government department responsible for the screening. But the decisions are in the hands of that department to use them if they would improve our screening process. We therefore reject the instruction from the Kingdom Council of Ministers to Governor E. Holiday.
However, if the Kingdom Council of Ministers has information about wrong doing by any members of the present or future incoming ministers they should launched those complaints at the Public Prosecutor office here in St. Maarten regardless to who that person maybe. After properly investigating this information a decision would be made if that person would pass the screening process. It has worked in the past and it will continue to work in the future.
On the other hand the OSPP strongly believes that many of the recommendations in the various integrity reports should be implemented. As a matter of fact a phase plan should be prepared with a time frame for the implementations of those recommendations and if the government refuses to carry them out, drastic measures should be enforced to provide the people with proper governance.