Curacao drags its feet with subsidy-report

POSTED: 02/29/16 6:02 PM

WILLEMSTAD – The policy document that was written in April of last year after the publication of an alarming subsidy-report on September 30, 2014, still has not been approved by the Council of Ministers, Anneke Polak reports on Caribisch Netwerk.

Several ministers disagree with the policy document that aims to put a stop to inefficient policy, high overhead costs and the overlap of foundations who are serving the same objective. The meeting about this report, that had to take place at the end of January, was moved to the beginning of February. Then the Council of Ministers decided to make some adjustments.

“There are quite some questions from my ministry,” says Minister Suzy Camelia-Römer (Traffic, Transport and Urban Planning). “I cannot say what the disputed points are, because the content of the meetings of the Council of Ministers remains confidential. I give one example: when I was minister of Justice (in 1992 – ed.) there was a discussion about merging the Court of Guardianship with the Family Guardian Institute. That was not possible because of the difference in functions, they were incompatible.”

Camelia-Römer confirmed that the ministers of Social Development, Labor and Welfare and Education, Culture, Science and Sport both want some adjustments before the report goes to the Council of Ministers for approval. Other ministers could not be reached for a comment. Camelia-Römer does not know when the policy document will be on the agenda again. “The agreement was to do this shortly.”

According to the 2014 report, granting subsidies to foundations is based on arbitrariness and political interference. On average, 55 percent of subsidies goes to personnel costs and there is a large overlap of foundations that providing the same services.

Friendly civil servants reportedly renew subsidies for foundations that do not give account of their activities.

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