St. Maarten Government seeks new head for security service

POSTED: 06/1/14 11:43 PM

St. Maarten – James Richardson, the first head of the national security service VDSM, will definitely not return to his position. Yesterday Linkels&Partners published a vacancy ad for the position. In July of last year, a scandal at the VDSM became public, whereby Richardson was suspended and stories floated around suggesting that $800,000 from the VDSM-budget had disappeared.

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams, who is responsible for the VDSM as Minister of General Affairs, has never confirmed the exact amount but she did say that a ‘significant amount of money” was unaccounted for. The prime minister said that the integrity of the service was never in jeopardy.

She instructed to government accountant bureau Soab to investigate the VDSM’s finances after she received signals from within the service that something was amiss. The results of this investigation have never been made public.

The vacancy ad that appeared yesterday invites candidates to submit their application before June 11, so within the next week and a half. The candidate must have a university degree and a substantial number of years in management experience. The ideal candidate has “an excellent feel for political relationships” and has to be of irreproachable behavior “in your personal life as in your career.”

Candidates will be subjected to an extensive reference, medical and security investigation, the ad states. A psychological assessment is also part of the procedure. Applications have to be in by June 11.

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