Construction of prison fence and entrance soon to begin.
PHILIPSBURG:— Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman said he is pleased with the contents of the contents of the report submitted by the Progress Committee for the first quarter of 2017.
The Minister said that the Progress Committee in their report stated that they are optimistic as the current government is doing almost everything possible to address keys issues within the Justice Ministry.
The Minister said he was delighted to see that the report clearly states that the Prime Minister of St. Maarten William Marlin has pledged his support to assist him with the programs he has in the pipeline to improve the justice Ministry.
Apart from that, the Progress Committee is satisfied with the work being done by the Management Team of KPSM. However, the plans of approach for KPSM, the Prison and Landsreacherche have not been completed and more work has to be done to complete those reports. He said according to the report the management team of KPSM is very proactive and they have an agreement where they will begin recruitment of staff in a portion of 20 for the next four years. Minister Boasman said that KPSM can now start the recruitment for the first 20 for the year 2017.
As for the prison, the Progress Committee is also satisfied with the task force and the team that was put together to normalize the situation at Pointe Blanche Prison. He said however, that team should be considered a temporary solution and not a permanent solution. The Minister said he agreed with the committee on that since the team and task force was put in place to normalize what was taking place at the Pointe Blanche Prison. The Minister further explained that one of the biggest challenges the prison has is a lack of staff and he is thankful for the cooperation he has been receiving from the Commandant of the VKS Antony Rogers for allowing the VKS officers to work at the Prison. Besides that, the Minister said that the prison management may have recruit prison guards from the VKS who would then take the necessary training to become full-fledged prison guards.
Apart from that, the Minister said the repairs and the construction of a new entrance and wall at the Pointe Blanche Prison will soon begin.
The Minister also touched on a number of civil servants, mainly police officers that have been working without the proper documentation in place, he referred to the cases Lyndon Lewis won for his colleagues who have been working on the wrong scale.
Minister Boasman said he came from the labor sector and there is where he worked a very long period ensuring that workers get what is rightly due to them.
He said while he came and met the situation with the police officers that went to court, he intends to regulate all of the problems and as such will be meeting with his staff to discuss a plan as to how they will tackle the situation.
The Minister said that the recent victories in court are not the only situation but there are much more that has to be regulated.
Asked who is responsible for preparing the LB for the civil servants? And why those people did not do their work even though the Ministers would change when government falls or election is held the secretary generals and department heads remains the same. The Minister said he agreed with that but he will not lay the blame on anyone because most of the time the senior civil servants would wait on the Ministers to see what approach they would take.
On the question of what is he doing to get certain civil servants that have chosen to take sick leave and not report to work, the Minister agreed that something is wrong because some civil servants are out for extended periods? He said he is not a doctor and he will not pass judgment on whether or not someone is sick, but he does have a plan to deal with the issue. He said St. Maarten has laws and those laws have to be used. One is that they have to put an independent team of doctors to evaluate the patients/civil servants that are out for a long period of sick leave. He said the law allows government to do such and if it turned out that these persons could work then they would have to return to work and if they do not show up then he will also use the law again to deal with the situation. The Minister assured that these problems are being worked upon.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Progress Committee are very optimistic with the work being done by Justice Minitry.