Wescot-Williams recognizes need to amend law on VKS secondment

POSTED: 10/6/11 1:04 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Sarah Wescot-Williams is expecting debate in Parliament soon on a law that will allow her to officially make the Voluntary Korps available to colleague ministers. She has also predicted the law may need to be amended to remove the Finance Ministry.

The draft ordinance states that the minister of general affairs will be able to second the VKS to either the Justice Ministry or the Finance Ministry to assist with controls. The latter ministry was included because in the Netherlands Antilles, the Customs Division, fell under the Finance Ministry. St. Maarten’s organizational chart places Customs under the Justice Ministry. The Justice Ministry is another because of their work with the police.
“We’re looking to formalize the relationship. When the law was drafted and mentioned the Ministry of Finance it had to do with the fact that you had Customs under Finance. Mind you that was under the Antillean case so I think that’s where the finance matter came in. Already it has been indicated that we would need to reword that or rephrase that,” Wescot-Williams said.

The draft legislation on the VKS is one of the 45 laws left over from the Netherlands Antilles that the government has decided to submit to the legislature. The Justice Ministry has already submitted its group of laws – most of which have to do with the Civil Code – and other ministries have been reminded to submit their remaining laws before the October 10, 2011 deadline. The Central Committee of Parliament has already decided to handle the majority of the laws and sent back a report with only one major question on changes to the Tax Ordinance. All the rest they have received have been approved to be handled in general public meetings, saving a lot of questions and debate.

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