Transparency International launches integrity report next week

POSTED: 07/23/15 10:51 PM

St. Maarten – Transparency International will launch St. Maarten’s National Integrity System assessment next week Tuesday at the University of St. Martin.

Alejandro Salas, the regional director for the Americas at Transparency International will speak at this event, as will invited government officials, Transparency International said in a press statement.

The integrity assessment has been long in the making, ever since Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk sent the first signals to then Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams in April 2013 that St. Maarten has to get its integrity house in order. When that did not happen fast enough, the Kingdom Council of Ministers issued an instruction, ordering Governor Holiday to commission an integrity investigation. On the heels of that hotly contested instruction, the government in Philipsburg decided to order an integrity investigation of its own.

This resulted in two integrity-reports – one by a committee led by Justice Bob Wit (for the government) and one by PricewaterhouseCoopers investigators Sam Nazarro and Sunita Saligram. Earlier, in April 2014, the General Audit Chamber published its Baseline Study Institutional Integrity Management – a report that was largely ignored by parliament.

Transparency International conducted extensive interviews with key stakeholders last year. “The report will contain evidence-based findings on the corruption risks on the island as well as concrete recommendations on how to improve integrity and good governance,” Transparency International said in a press statement.

The report examines to role of main pillars in the local community, such as the public sector, businesses, political parties, media and other institutions.

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