PHILIPSBURG:--- Following the launch of the online application platform for the Declaration of Conduct (VOG) on January 9, 2023, the Ministry of Justice reports a significant improvement in the overall handling of VOG requests with increased visibility and monitoring and quicker delivery times. The Ministry has received a total of five hundred and twenty-nine (529) online applications of which one hundred and five (105) have been completed with clients receiving their VOGs via email. Persons who applied for a VOG via the Public Service Center prior to the platform’s launch are being contacted by the Ministry of Justice to retrieve their VOG at the department of Judicial Affairs which is situated at Illidge Road above the Immigration Department.
Presently, there are one hundred and ninety-six (196) applications awaiting payment. This means the applicant is to upload proof of payment in order for the actual screening process to begin. The public is therefore reminded that the actual process does not begin until all the required documents are uploaded. These include a valid form of identification, a valid registration form, and proof of payment.
Two hundred and three (203) applications are being processed at the Attorney-General’s Office. The attorney general’s office checks the judicial documentation (criminal history) of the applicant. Based on the most recent statistics, on average it takes the attorney general’s office seven (7) working days to check the judicial documentation of the applicant.
The online application process includes four (4) steps outlined below.
Step 1: Payment Confirmation - Upon submitting an application the requestor must provide proof of payment of the processing fee of Naf 50 in order to begin the vetting process.
Step 2: Vetting/Reviewer - The back office of the Ministry of Justice performs a vetting of the supporting documents and verification of the processing fee payment. Non-compliant applications are rejected, and clients are notified by email.
Step 3: Prosecutor Review - The final screening is done by the attorney general’s office. For applications with no objections, the attorney general’s office updates the digital application, allowing the client to receive their VOG immediately.
Step 4: Review Committee of the Ministry of Justice - If the attorney general’s office finds judicial documentation (a criminal record) on the applicant, the application is forwarded to the Review Committee of the Ministry of Justice. This Review Committee weighs the criminal record against the purpose of the VOG application. The VOG policy as well as the relevant legal framework provides the necessary guidelines for the weighing process. Based on the assessment made a VOG can either be still issued or denied. The applicant is informed by email about this decision.
To apply online for a VOG or for more information about the online application process, please visit the website of the Ministry of Justice, www.ministryofjustice.sx.
Source: Soualiga Newsday https://www.soualiganewsday.com