St. Maarten Parliament launches web site

POSTED: 06/26/11 9:22 PM

St. Maarten – With the launch of its web site at the Parliament of St. Maarten entered the Internet-age, but most parliamentarians seemed to have stayed in bed for the occasion at eight thirty friday morning. Apart from the President of the Parliament, Gracita Arrindell, only her fellow UP party-members Ruth Douglas and Sylvia Olivacce-Meyers showed up in the good company of National Alliance MP George Pantophlet. Independent MP Patrick Illidge was in the building at a certain moment but he never bothered to join the presentation.

President Arrindell could not hide her disappointment about what she called “a poor attendance by Members of Parliament,” so she extended an extra warm welcome to the three MPs who were in their seats. In the bleachers were many department heads and (acting) secretaries-general of different ministries.

Arrindell said that the web site is designed as a tool for communication with the outside worlds, especially with students living abroad. Locally, the site will also bring politics closer to the people because it will carry live broadcasts of all public meetings.

The web site, designed by Alvin Prescott, is a work in progress. While the site is up, not all links take visitors to the information they are looking for – not yet.

Currently all information on the site is in the English language, but in the future the content will also be translated in Dutch as well as in Spanish. The Parliament’s public relations department will keep the site’s content up to date.

President Arrindell said that the Parliament will also publish all relevant public documents on the site. Documents will be published in a locked PDF-format that makes it impossible for visitors with less honorable intention to change their content.

The site will also function as a tool to facilitate communication between Members of Parliament and the ministries. Under the About Parliament button visitors will find a flow chart that gives an overview of the government’s structure. Clicking on any element in the chart will send visitors to a page with relevant information.


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