St. Maarten Prime Minister announces integrity quick scan

POSTED: 10/16/13 12:54 PM

THE HAGUE – St. Maarten Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has announced in a surprise move in The Hague that the government will go ahead with an integrity quick scan.

Wescot-Williams is for a four-day visit in The Netherlands where she met with Kingdom Relations Minister Plasterk. Discussions about the instruction by the Kingdom Council of Ministers to Governor Drs. Eugene Holiday to commission an integrity investigation in St. Maarten brought no new insights, as Wescot-Williams repeated her government’s objections against the procedure that was followed.

At the same time, the prime minister said that her government also wants to know what is true about what she called perceptions. “This is why we find it important to do this quick scan shortly.”

Wescot-Williams said that the quick scan report must be ready within six months and that it must be done by a committee of wise men whose independence is unquestionable.

The quick scan was one of the alternatives St. Maarten offered before the instruction was given to the governor, but the Kingdom Council of Ministers did not want to hear about it.

The investigation the governor has been ordered to commission will add nothing to the results of the quick scan, Wescot-Williams told reporters in The Hague on Monday.

She also repeated that she had signed the grant agreement for a National Integrity System assessment by Transparency International. But a definite contract still has not been signed with the corruption watchdog. Wescot-Williams said last week that she needs to be mandated by a national decree to sign this contract. The national decree requires the signature of Governor Holiday.

The assessment by Transparency International will cost the government around $270,000; how much the quick scan will cost has not been announced yet.

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