Tenth report progress committee: Duncan unconvinced of need for renovation Pointe Blanche

POSTED: 09/11/13 3:20 PM

St. Maarten – The progress committee St. Maarten was still very much put out about the delays the renovation of the Pointe Blanche prison encountered. In the tenth progress report, that Minister Ronald Plasterk sent to the Second Chamber earlier this month, the committee points the finger to former Justice Minister Roland Duncan.

The progress report was completed in April of this year. At that time, the committee noted that the renovation of the prison could only begin after alternative space would become available at the immigration detention center in Simpson Bay. “Due to steel toilet pots and doors that must be custom-manufactured abroad the renovation can begin in June. This results in a short delay, but this comes on top of an already lengthy delay. The committee expressed its dissatisfaction about this situation in a previous report and it remains very dissatisfied, especially because the committee gets the impression from the minister (Duncan – ed.) that he doubts the usefulness and necessity of the renovation.”

The committee writes in its report that there is no room for doubt. “The plan of approach is clear about this. Furthermore, the detention quality must be maintained to prevent getting further behind.”

In the meantime, Minister Plasterk informed the Second Chamber that under the new Justice Minister Dennis Richardson the expansion and renovation of the prison has begun on July 15.

The committee also notes that the execution of the plans of approach for the police and the prison are stalling for several reasons. “It is unacceptable that the function books and the organization plans on which basis personnel can be placed in the new organization quotecorner.com/priligy.html still have not been established by the minister. This is about function books that were ready at the time of the transition for approval and that have been discussed with the unions. Among the staff at the police force there is increasing dissatisfaction about their position. The committee still has the impression that the minister of justice is not speeding up the process sufficiently.”

The committee expressed in its report satisfaction about the mandate the solicitor-general in St. Maarten received from the attorney-general in Willemstad. The mandate means that the Solicitor-General (Mr. Taco Stein) directly manages the national detective agency.

“This is currently especially important for a large-scale investigation that involves a member of parliament and that has also received ample attention in local and Dutch media,” the committee notes with a reference to the Bada Bing bribery scandal that involves Independent MP Patrick Illidge. “The committee is convinced that this investigation under the direction of the solicitor-general will be executed thoroughly and meticulously with all available capacity of the national detective agency and its sister services.”

There is still not enough clarity about the financial means to execute the plans of approach, the report states. “On the one hand it is said that the plans can be executed because the resources are available. On the other hand projects cannot be executed, or not be executed according to the planning because the resources are lacking.”

For the police force for instance “money was reportedly budgeted” for an expansion with 40 full time positions, but “the financial cover is not there this year.”

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