Government working diligently to close integrity holes in organization

The government of St. Maarten has been working on a number of integrity related recommendations out of the integrity reports since said reports were made public. The issue remains, as stated prior, the #1 priority for the Gumbs cabinet who meet regularly to gauge progress and re-iterate to the civil core how important it is for the country to close several “integrity holes” that exists in its organization.

Below are a number of the integrity-related recommendations that government is working on and which will be finalized short-term. A number of recommendations made were already realized by the time the integrity reports were presented which clearly shows that government was already aware of the needs where those matters were concerned.

Plan of approach
The plan of approach integrity (the plan) has been approved by the Council of Ministers.
The structure of the organization to implement the recommendations of all the integrity reports, as proposed in the plan of approach, and therefore also approved by the Council of Ministers, is the following:

a. The Council of Ministers which is the responsible body for the implementation of the recommendations;
b. A Project Bureau, with a secretariat and project leaders
c. An independent Oversight Committee.

Project bureau
The project bureau consists of the Secretary Generals of Justice, General Affairs and Finance. The tasks and responsibilities of the project bureau are amongst others:
1. The responsibility for the implementation of the proposals of the project leaders as approved by them;
2. To advise the Council of Ministers on the status of the implementation of the recommendations;
3. To monitor the different actions and advices of the project leaders to make sure that everyone is on the same line;
4. To safeguard the quality and the applicability of the proposals to implement the recommendations;
5. If needed and on instruction of the council of ministers, meet with the oversight committee to give elucidation on the actions and advices on the implementation of the recommendations.
The Council of Ministers has approved that all the ministries will contribute financially to the functioning of the organization.

The oversight committee
The tasks and responsibilities of the oversight committee are to, in an independent way, report on the status of the implementation of the recommendations to the council of ministers. The committee will report once a year, and will meet every three months. Finally the committee is entitled to, in case the procedures or actions for implementing the recommendations are lacking behind, to recommend to the council of ministers to take the necessary steps in a separate report prior to their once a year reporting.

The project bureau and the project leaders have the obligation to cooperate with the oversight committee, when requested by the committees. The committee will have to their disposal a secretariat by their choice, and the costs will be covered by government.

Please note that this plan of approach and the structure mentioned above has been communicated to the Netherlands on several occasions and has been part of the discussions between the civil servants of St Maarten and the Ministry of Kingdom relations, in The Hague last December.