Today’s Opinion: Bureaucracy

POSTED: 05/20/11 12:51 PM

We understand that certain things have to be done by the book. We drive on the right hand side of the road and not on the left hand side, silly as that may seem to people from for instance Anguilla. We also stop for red traffic lights, and drive through when it is green.

When we have to renew our driver’s license we go to the Census Office, where we present the necessary papers and when those papers are in order, we get our new license. Right?

Well, that’s how it should be, but as the story about Onesima del Carmen Bakhuis in today’s edition proves, it does not always work that way.

Onesima has a valid residence permit. It’s valid until April 2015. Because the civil servant who drew up the document did not type the date of issue right above the place where Lt. Governor Groeneveldt placed his signature, the Census Office is now making problems.

Onesima has been at it for four months, but the Census Office refuses to give her a new driver’s license. Justice Minister Duncan has told Onesima that her residence permit is valid.

Even better, when she went in October to the Census Office for her St. Maarten ID-card, there was not problem at all.

But now the Census Office wants the date on the paper, which is totally unnecessary because the document states clearly until when it is valid.

In the meantime, Onesima was fined for driving with an expired driver’s license. We’re pretty sure that fine is not going to fly, but all the same, the bureaucrats at the Census Office are making her life miserable, while all her papers are in order.

Come on people, is this really necessary? Give the lady her driver’s license so that she is able to get on with her life.


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