Monday , February 26 2024

Opinion: Integrity Chamber Kingdom–wide

In an opinion the Daily Herald writes about the fact that the Central Committee meeting regarding the Integrity Chamber for which there was no quorum last week has been rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon (see related story). Hopefully, enough parliamentarians will find the time on this occasion to deal with this critical matter.

As pointed out earlier, it’s important that St. Maarten’s National Ordinance for such is established before the Council of State gives its advice scheduled for early May on the General Measure of Kingdom Governance that The Hague wishes to impose instead. Having own legislation in place obviously would allow for a better evaluation whether the drastic step insisted on by the Netherlands is justified.

The report on Wednesday’s front page regarding a Kingdom Integrity Committee may have confused some. That’s understandable, also because in the last year alone there were no less than three separate socalled integrity probes by the Wit-Samson Committee, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of the governor and the General Audit Chamber; or actually four if one counts the assessment by Transparency International.

To be sure, the new committee suggested by Labour Party PvdA is not meant to replace the currently proposed Integrity Chamber, at least for now. Rather, it would be a body to pro-mote integrity and good governance jointly, based on a Consensus Kingdom Law. Interestingly, there was talk of “tackling corrupt members of government and doing something about the ties between the under- and upper-world in the Dutch Caribbean.” That’s fine and well, but if it’s truly to be a kingdom-wide entity also excesses, irregularities and transgressions within the public sector in the Netherlands, of which there have been several lately, should be part of the committee’s scope. After all, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.


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