St. Maarten Government reaction to Wit-report still missing

POSTED: 08/25/14 10:59 PM

St. Maarten – Up to yesterday, the government still had not released its reaction to Doing the Right Things Right, the report from the Wit Committee about Integrity in Public Administration. The report’s publication together with the government’s reaction was originally scheduled for Friday, August 15. Prime Minister Wescot-Williams however, informed the committee that the reaction was not ratified yet in the Council of Ministers and that this would take place last week Tuesday. The publication of the report and the reaction would then follow the latest last week Friday.

However, unknown sources leaked the report to the media last week Monday. On Wednesday, Justice Minister Dennis Richardson said at the Council of Ministers press briefing that the government embraced 99.9 percent of the recommendations the committee made in its report. Wescot-Williams said that the government’s reaction had been handled on Tuesday in the Council of Ministers and that it was about ready to be sent out to the Parliament and to the media.

When Friday came and almost went, this newspaper inquired via an email to the prime minister about the government’s reaction to the report. “Will follow up,” was the brief answer.

The prime minister did send out a press release yesterday stating that the government “has agreed to the recommendations of the report” and that it will establish a commission “to ensure that there is sufficient follow-up.” A monitoring committee will be set up “to ensure that all things are in line with the findings outlined in the report.”

Wescot-Williams noted that the integrity investigation commissioned by Governor Holiday “will probably focus on other areas than those covered in the recently completed report.”

A third investigation, by Transparency International “has a specific way of looking at the governance of the country and carrying out the integrity system analysis.”

Wescot-Williams repeated that all reports will be made public and reiterated that the government had already started an integrity program before 10-10-10.

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