Published On: Thu, Mar 21st, 2019

Almost 150 critical vacancies at justice ministry

Minister Cornelius De Weever - 21 Mar 2019

PHILIPSBURG — The Ministry of Justice has 144 critical vacancies, Minister Cornelius de Weever told the Central Committee of Parliament on Wednesday evening. The majority of those vacancies are at the police force (60), customs (29) and the prison (28).

The ministry was most recently involved in twelve court cases, winning two and losing five while the remaining cases are still ongoing.

The financial consequences of implementing the function book could in a worst case scenario be 12 million guilders.

MP Christophe Emmanuel criticized the capital investment budget of the justice ministry; with 17 million it pales compared to the 84 million investment budget for the finance ministry. “What does the minister expect to get done with this budget at the prison? And why is the budget so low? Did you fight for it?”

Emmanuel also brought up what he called “the kidnapping” of former MP Theo Heyliger to Bonaire. “Did you know this was happening and did you sign off on this transfer?”

MP Rolando Brison noted that there is a 20 percent cut in the personnel cost at the prison. “What percentage of the tax payers’ money is going into judicial organizations like the public prosecutor’s office and the office of the attorney general? How much comes from the Netherlands?”

Brison wondered why the ministry has budgeted income from the asset recovery team at zero. He furthermore questioned why financing the executive protection unit has been put on the budget as a subsidy. “Who are we subsidizing here? This is really strange.”

Brison furthermore asked what the minister really needs for investments at the prison, compared to the budgeted 5.7 million and he asked for an explanation about a 1.2 million investment in a mobile scanner for the customs department.

“The justice department does not get enough funding,” MP Jurendy Doran said. “What is the difference between the actual budget and the desired budget?”

The central committee continues its deliberations about the draft 2019 budget on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m.


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Download the complete DRAFT 2019 BUDGET here