Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2020

MP Wescot-Williams questions function books saga

MP Sarah A. Wescot-Williams - 20191010

PHILIPSBURG – United Democrats MP Sarah Wescot-Williams expressed her surprise about a press release from Justice Minister Anna Richardson about her effort to be informed about the process to arrive at the establishment of the function books for the justice personnel. Not without reason: the relevant draft national decree has been at the Council of Advice for more than six months – since January 3 of this year.

According to Wescot-Williams, Richardson’s predecessor, Egbert Doran, issued a statement on January 7 saying that “the document was approved and has been submitted to the governor and will be forwarded to the Council of Advice. Based on the Council of Advice-website, that was already a done deal by then.

“This particular statement by Minister Richardson’s predecessor and party colleague came after the same former minister threw his predecessor (acting Minister of Justice Perry Geerlings) under the proverbial bus in a scathing attack in the local media.”

Richardson’s press release has befuddled Wescot-Williams because it seems to ignore the fact that there is already a completed draft national decree at the Council of Advice: “Now it seems as if our justice personnel is nowhere closer to a solution and this at a time when we are calling on many of these very same persons to go the extra mile during these trying times our island is facing.”

Wescot-Williams has some questions for Minister Richardson. For instance: “How many consultants have been employed to prepare the function books? I would like to know who they are and I would like to see the contracts of these persons.”

The MP also wants to know what the content is of the draft national decree and “whether the salary scales it includes are a part of the new function book the minister has spoken about.”

Wescot-Williams notes in her statement that, according to former Justice Minister Doran, the draft decree forms the legal basis for paying police officers. “If that is so, then what about the other justice workers?”

Finally, the MP wants to know whether the unions representing the justice workers will be involved “in the process the minister outlined just a few days ago.”

From the press release MP Wescot-Williams refers to, it appears that Martin van den Blink of the Curacao-based consultancy firm Balance is involved in the process. Balance was hired by then Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever.

According to Van den Blink, the process is in its second phase – evaluating job descriptions with the assigned salary scales. This could take two months. The third phase would be determining the required number of full-time equivalents for each function.

The unanswered question remains why all this is necessary while the Council of Advice already has a completed draft national decree under consideration.

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Related links:
Minister of Justice receives update on Function Books
SXM Daily News – Wednesday, July 22, 2020 – Minister of Justice Anna Richardson apologizes to Justice workers and gives update on Function Books
MP Wescot-Williams wants clarity about liquidity support conditions