PHILIPSBURG:— In late March and early April 2017, investigators of the National Ombudsman of the Netherlands will pay a working visit to the Caribbean Netherlands. They will hold open office hours on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius to deal with complaints about the government.
Residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba who have complaints about the government can consult the Dutch National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen and his staff (referred to in Papiamento as ‘defensor del pueblo BES’). They deal with problems with the Tax Department, the Public Prosecution Service, the police, the Public Bodies and the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands (‘Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland’). Citizens can file their complaints via the website and by telephone, but also in person. Twice a year the investigators of the National Ombudsman hold open office hours on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The locations and dates of these opportunities for consultation will be announced via radio, TV and Facebook advertisements.
One of the most recent investigations of the National Ombudsman concerned the Public Body of Statia. Following the investigation, the Public Body was advised to strongly improve its communication with citizens. The Ombudsman had received four complaints. All four were declared well-founded because the Public Body was not responding to these complaints and the processing time was therefore far too long.
In addition, the National Ombudsman has sent the Public Body of Bonaire a letter of concern. In mid-March the Ombudsman, Reinier van Zutphen, personally discussed his concerns with government officials on Bonaire. He said: ‘Proper communication is essential to guarantee mutual understanding and respect between citizens and the government.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Dutch National Ombudsman to hold open office hours on Bonaire, Saba and Statia