Published On: Thu, Jun 22nd, 2017


There are several ways to make a country great and some ways to make sure that this never happens. In that last category fall formalities.

This thought crossed our mind when we heard Justice Minister Boasman said yesterday that “formally, the Miss Lalie Center does not exist.”

The finer points related to this remark are to be found on our front page today.

In the real world, the situation is that we have what former Justice Minister Dennis Richardson liked to call a youth care center. That sounds a tad friendlier than youth detention center – because that’s what it is.

The center is real, the kids that are locked up there are real and the people who go to that place to work every day are real as well.

But officially the center does not exist and that has consequences for the employees. The formal position is that the position of these employees cannot be regulated because the center was a project based on a 2-year term. That term ended in December; it has been extended, but still, the center that is truly there does not exist.

That’s enough to drive anybody crazy.

Minister Boasman isn’t going crazy about this, he realizes that this situation has to be fixed – and he’s working on it.

Now, with the best intention in mind “working on it” is government slang for what is usually a very slow process. Not a thing the minister can do about that and also not exactly a prospective that will endear the employees at the center.

Like many other within the ministry (and within the whole government apparatus) in the end they go to court to get their rights. As the minister said yesterday, they always win.

All those procedures are costing the government truckloads of money – funds that therefore cannot be used for useful things.

The minister wants to find a solution for these situations and he does not want to spend time on hunting down the culprits who have cause the situation.

We understand the approach. At the same time, if nobody is ever found guilty of anything within that diffuse government apparatus, things will not quickly improve in the near future. And that’s a damn shame.