Bandell unhappy with imposed investigation

POSTED: 10/2/13 1:03 PM

HILVERSUM – Ronald Bandell, the chairman of the Progress Committee Sint Maarten is not happy with the way the Dutch government is forcing St. Maarten to investigate integrity, Jamila Baaziz reports on Caribisch Netwerk. “That the integrity needs to be investigated was already beyond dispute, but I am not happy with the way this is going to happen. This is almost some kind of ambush.”

Bandell has been following the developments in St. Maarten closely for years. He would have preferred to see that Justice Minister Dennis Richardson had been given the opportunity to execute his own proposal for an integrity investigation. “This is a bit of a damper for him, while he is doing his best to settle everything properly.”

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Richardson announced earlier that they will hire Transparency International for an integrity investigation. Bandell would have loved to await the results of that investigation. “If it appears at the end of the day that it is not working or that it is terrible, you can always decide in close consultation what you are able to do.”

Bandell says that the investigation the Netherlands is forcing upon St. Maarten will have an adverse effect on the mutual relationship: “They were not always very pleasant to start with due to the tension surrounding the country’s budget. This plays into the hands of people who are not very pro-Holland. Furthermore it puts the governor in a complicated position.”

St. Maarten is taking themes like integrity serious, Bandell says. “I am quite impressed with the buildup of the National Detective Agency that investigates sensitive cases wherein integrity plays a part. They have to be meticulous because on a small island like St. Maarten reputations are quickly damaged.”

The Progress Committee wrote recently in its half-year report that there are positive developments in St. Maarten in the fields of police, justice and the foreigners-policy. Integrity is also a theme that the government has tackled seriously. “This does not mean that everybody who follows an integrity course is suddenly an integer; you find these types of problems everywhere, also in the Netherlands.”

The country’s image could be more positive if it became more assertive and comes out more often with what is happening and what is going well, Bandell says. “I find it a sign of self-consciousness that St. Maarten is going to ask the Council of State whether the Dutch decision for an imposed integrity investigation is possible based on the agreements that have been made around 10-10-10 and whether this tallies with the Kingdom Charter.” This is why Bandell advises St. Maarten: Be good and tell.”

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Comments (1)


  1. Boo-boo says:

    You don’t watch corruption for years, sir. As soon as it raises its head, you chop it off. I say investigate.