Published On: Fri, Oct 8th, 2021

Law Enforcement Council gets authority to control Crime Fund

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PHILIPSBURG — The available capacity for the execution of measures from the country package in St. Maarten remains a continuous source of concern. The capacity in St. Maarten is even more limited than in the other two countries,” the third-quarter report about the execution of the country packages states.

It is obvious, the report states, that it is not possible to achieve the intended objectives with the available capacity. This means that the Temporary Work Organization (TWO) and the COHO-in-the-making offer St. Maarten more active support than they provide to the other countries – Aruba and Curacao. “In writing many plans of approach the Netherlands was the primary actor,” the report states. “It is crucial that St. Maarten keeps feeling ownership for the reforms and that the Netherlands does not become the owner of the problems.”

In a reaction to these concerns, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs assures State Secretary Knops (Kingdom Relations) that there is nothing to worry about. “The content of these plans is always determined by St. Maarten. There is no doubt about ownership, because measures have been put in place in such a way that they fit within the local context. Plans of approach go through the internal process of approval that ends with the formal approval by the Council of Ministers.”

Jacobs furthermore points out that a large part of the intended reforms have to be regulated by law. This increases the workload for the Council of Advice, while the government has no influence on the time the Council needs to review legislation.

In some fields there is progress though. The plan of approach for the auditing of government-owned companies and entities is complete. The government has also signed an agreement about the implementation of advices from the taskforce corporate governance.

On the other hand, progress with measures to improve the management of the Crime Fund and to improve the detention situation is marked as “again insufficient” in the report.

With regard to the Crime Fund, the intention is that recommendations from the Law Enforcement Council are put in place. St. Maarten has appointed this Council as the independent control authority for the Crime Fund.

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