The Daily Herald writes that former Governor of Curaçao and the Netherlands Antilles Frits Goedgedrag, former President of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Gerdi Verbeet and former Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Laurens Jan Brinkhorst will help to select a new National Government Representative for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk informed the Second Chamber on Tuesday of the names of the selection committee. Secretary of the committee will be Secretary General of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK Richard van Zwol. Minister Plasterk plays an important role in the appointment of a new National Government Representative (Rijksvertegenwoordiger) for the Caribbean Netherlands as he will be the one to present a proposal to the Council of Ministers as to the candidate who will succeed Wilbert Stolte in early July this year. The selection committee will assist the minister in the process. The Executive Councils of the public entities will be consulted prior to the appointment, Plasterk confirmed in the letter that he sent to Parliament on Tuesday. The minister also sent the profile of the National Government Representative to Parliament. (see in the Dutch documents of SabaNews)
Member of the Second Chamber Wassila Hachchi of the Democratic Party D66 had insisted on an open, transparent appointment procedure. In that profile, the National Government
Representative is described as an official with the important task to connect the various stakeholders, someone who stimulates the cooperation between the liaisons of the Dutch ministries, maintains an overview, puts issues that supersede the ministries on the agenda and safeguards the consistency in the actions of the liaisons.
The Representative also stimulates and safeguards good governance, may give instructions in disaster/crisis situations and may decide on requests for military assistance to the local police force. He or she further has a number of authorities as mandates chief of the police force and Fire Department.
The Representative has to comply with a long list of prerequisites: “The future National Government Representative is a bridge builder who stimulates cooperation and unity, has empathy, is aware of the effects of his/her own handlings, easily moves through all layers of the population of the various islands, is communicative and contractually able, can connect with the different stakeholders and create clarity, fulfils the objective eyes and ears function, is a networker who can create new opportunities, serve as an example when needed, create and maintain an optimal information position.”
The new Representative furthermore “has to be able to stand above the parties, has no political colour in his or her actions, is of good character, radiates integrity, has experience/affinity with issues of public order and safety, has the respect of both the government in The Hague as well as the Caribbean Netherlands and has a good feeling of both governmental areas or manages to acquire these in a short period.
The list continues: the future Representative must have sufficient knowledge of legal, governmental and economic affairs, have a business- like attitude, demonstrable comprehension of the governmental culture of the public entities (or manages to acquire this in a short period), a broad interest for the communities in general, and speaks fluent Dutch and English, and, if possible, Papiamentu. Having the Dutch nationality is a condition for the future National Government Representative for whom an official residency is available on Bonaire and who will earn 9,098.26 euros per month. Side-jobs that put the proper functioning at risk will not be allowed.