Social Affairs heads stripped of signing authority

POSTED: 02/2/12 1:46 PM

St. Maarten – Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever has publicly stripped both the head and interim head of the department of social affairs of the authority to sign letters informing people whether or not they will financial or medical aid from government. The authority has now been given to the Secretary General in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor drs Jorien Wuite. The instruction on the change took effect on Wednesday.

De Weever made the decision to strip the departmental leadership of their authority because he and his cabinet have observed more inconsistencies than the ones that led him to tell the staffers on January 18 to “shape up or ship out.” Though there’s been some improvement the minister said Wednesday that the department’s staffers were still not complying with the law and so he has taking action.
“I understand the plight of the elderly, physically and mentally challenged and I cannot or will not allow this to continue without making improvements. Anyone can make mistakes, but when mistakes and errors become too common and people’s lives are affected I must act or heed my own call. What applies to this department and this ministry applies to me. When we cannot help our people they say in the US Houston we have a problem. And I say in St. Maarten we have one too,” de Weever said.
Later he’d add, “Let there be no doubt that this ministry is about taking care of the people and when this statement is being jeopardized then I must act. Retracting the mandate of the social affairs is another action that I have taken in what I believe is the right direction.”

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