Service: A priority for five ministries

POSTED: 02/29/12 1:56 PM

St. Maarten – Five government ministries are committing to clear projects aimed at improving service to the public in 2012. The announcement of those projects is made in answers supplied to MPs on Monday as part of the ongoing discussions on the 2012 budget. The Ministry of Housing, Physical Plannning, Environment and Infrastructure and the Ministry of General Affairs are the only two that did not respond to this question in writing.

The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications plans to update legislation so red tape is minimized, conducting customer service training and policy development with the Personnel and Organization Department, assessing new IT technologies to better service the public and assist the departments, improving the way employees’ performance is evaluated and participating in the launch of a new general complaint system. The economic license department specifically will improve its service by totally automating its license process, giving the acting secretary general the authority to sign and approve license requests, filling critical vacancies and training personnel.

The Finance Ministry will improve service by bringing the tax administration online as part of the reform of the tax system. They will also support other ministries by improving financial management in order to be able to better support the entire government, with sound budgets and financial statements. The Justice Ministry will continue efforts to improve the sense of safety within the population through implementation of the plans of action of the immigration department, the police force and the house of detention.

“The urgent matter which is dealt with primarily is adding qualified personnel to these departments as agreed with the partners in the kingdom,” the answers state.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor believes implementing all the projects it listed as its way of “softening the blow” will also lead to improved service and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport commits to keeping service at the center of its operation.

“Service is at the center of the ministry’s mission statement. This has been emphasized repeatedly in the two retreats the ministry held so far. The minister has established some benchmarks that include the prompt reply to inquiries and treating all student matters with top priority.”

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