POND ISLAND–The Council of Ministers approved the draft law to establish an Integrity Chamber for the country on Tuesday. The draft is now with Governor Eugene Holiday for submission to Parliament.
“Our part has been done as far as the two conditions set by The Hague regarding the recovery fund,” caretaker Prime Minister Rafael Boasman told the press on Wednesday morning. The completion of the process is “now in the hands of Parliament.”
The establishment of an Integrity Chamber for the country is one of two strict conditions the Dutch Government has set with which St. Maarten must comply before an injection of 550 million euros in hurricane recovery aid is released. Government has already agreed to the second condition, increased Dutch involvement in border control.
The way forward on border control with reinforcements from the Netherlands is already being paved. A work conference is planned for January for Justice Department representatives on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to develop a “plan of action.”
Responding to Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams’ public reminder that the agreement on border control has not yet reached Parliament, Boasman said he will “make sure the press and Parliament get a signed copy of the agreement.”
Boasman also had a meeting with new Dutch Civil Mission Head Nico Schoof to discuss the “recovery procedures and on how we will move forward.”
A work conference on the recovery funding structure is also planned between Dutch Recovery Coordinator Hans Leitjens and senior civil servants with the World Bank next week.
Government is not waiting on Parliament to handle the draft Integrity Chamber law before looking at a set-up to receive and coordinate the promised Dutch funds, said Boasman. He also rebuffed talk that Government is holding back the release of the 550 million euros, saying that no structure is yet in place for the disbursement of funds.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71647-draft-integrity-chamber-law-sent-to-parliament