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Editorial - Regular folks

It turns out the National Integrity System (NIS) assessment by Transparency International (TI) will be completed soon (see related article), but don't expect anybody to hold their breath. After all, there have been three recent integrity reports concerning St. Maarten already, by the Wit-Samson Committee, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the General Audit Chamber.

Granted, each differs in nature and content, while the TI study is more an evaluation of all segments of the country's society and not just the public sector regarding this topic. Nevertheless, one hardly can blame some readers for becoming a bit "integrity-weary."

The public was told that – also based on all these findings – an integrity process had been initiated. Then it turned out there was to be an Integrity Chamber, but that The Hague and Philipsburg couldn't agree on such. After that came the proposal of the Dutch labour party that supports the current Rutte cabinet for another Kingdom Integrity Committee, which the Netherlands intends to pitch at the upcoming Kingdom Conference.

Meanwhile, St. Maarten's Deputy Prime Minister Dennis Richardson and Dutch Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk will appear today before the Council of State, which has been asked by the Kingdom Government for advice on the General Measure of Kingdom Governance the latter wants to use to impose the Integrity Chamber. St. Maarten has countered with its own version in a draft national ordinance, although there did not appear to be majority support in St. Maarten's Parliament for such at least yet.

The latest word was that the Council of State actually had requested that St. Maarten defer voting on the local law proposal, which could indicate it might still see room for compromise. Whatever happens, it's high time the integrity dust settles in the sense that it becomes clear what actually will be done rather than keep adding to the confusion.

The TI report is obviously welcome, but to many it must – perhaps unjustly – sound like more of the same. The various recommendations need to be put into unambiguous action to end the discussion once and for all, so that regular folks can have some peace of mind and get on with their lives.

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Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
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Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
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