>Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — The Ombudsman recently concluded a Systemic Investigation regarding the Dismissal Advisory Committee (DAC), initiated as result of a complaint filed by a lawyer on behalf of GEBE N.V. The investigation focused on the functioning of the DAC and the decision-making procedure followed by the Secretary General (SG) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) on petitions filed for dismissal.
Considering a possible increase of petitions for dismissal to be filed by employers as a result of the effects of the hurricanes in September 2017 on business on Sint Maarten, the importance of the DAC in the decision-making process of the SG and the functioning of these entities had the full attention of the Ombudsman.
>The Ombudsman concluded in the Preliminary Findings Report (PFR) that:
>Based on the abovementioned, the Ombudsman has made the following recommendations to government:
It should be noted that the Minister has duly followed-up, and informed the Ombudsman by letter dated 18 September 2018 that the Ministry agrees with the conclusions of the Ombudsman and will follow the recommendations presented. Some of the recommendations have already been complied with, namely the installation of a new DAC.
The Final Report was submitted on 24 September, 2018 to government, as well as Parliament considering the nature and importance of the investigation for the public.
The Ombudsman has requested a status report within six (6) months from the date of the report on the results of the measures taken by the Ministry of VSA to enhance compliance with the law, propriety and good governance in dealing with petitions for dismissal of employees.
The Final Report is available for download via the website: >www.ombudsmansxm.com, under the ‘>Articles and Presentations’ tab.