THE HAGUE--The Kingdom Council of Ministers decided on March 6 to proceed with the establishing of an integrity supervisory body for St. Maarten through a so-called General Measure of the Kingdom Government ("Algemene Maatregel van Rijksbestuur"AMvRB).
Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk confirmed in a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Monday, which was made public on Wednesday, that the draft resolution had been sent to the Council of State for the Kingdom for advice.
Plasterk stated that the consultations with St. Maarten in the past months to reach a consensus on a joint approach to address the integrity problem in government so far hadn't yielded any results. The Kingdom Council of Ministers decided late January this year that it would initiate the process of an AMvRB to establish an integrity watch dog.
"The St. Maarten Government has displayed insufficient willingness to reshape its plans to establish an Integrity Chamber, and move to a vigorous execution of such, in a way that safeguards the effective approach of the problem at hand," he stated.
The minister emphasized, as he has done on earlier occasions, that the Integrity Chamber, or Integrity Committee as it is being referred to, had to be able to operate fully independent, free of influence from government.
"The existing system of mutual support and dependencies, which exist in all layers of society and the public administration of St. Maarten, with all secondary integrity issues, requires an accurate and independent approach with sufficient capacity and means," Plasterk stated.
The minister stated that during the process of rendering advice of the Council of State and the imposing of an AMvRB, there always remained a possibility to reach a consensus with St. Maarten on the establishing of an Integrity Chamber.
In his letter, Plasterk further addressed the progress of talks between the four countries of the Kingdom to strengthen the law enforcement system in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. The four countries are still in the process of working out the details of a broad multi-annual plan to strengthen the law enforcement system in all of its aspects.
The intention is to strengthen the Public Prosecutor's Offices in the three overseas countries, the Detective Cooperation Team RST and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. Plasterk promised to provide more details on this plan, for which the initiative was taken during the so-called Judicial Four-party Consultation in January this year, in the second quarter of 2015.
The Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Second Chamber will have a general debate with Plasterk next Tuesday about the state of governance of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.