Evaluation shows mixed results in justice projects

THE HAGUE–The cooperation programmes executed in the Dutch Caribbean from 2010 to 2015 with funds from The Hague have had results in the so-called repression trajectory to improve security and justice, but insufficient was achieved in the areas of prevention, self-reliance and rehabilitation.

Dutch caretaker Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk alluded to this in a document that he sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament this week with the answers to questions submitted by Parliament’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations.

In anticipation of a debate that will take place next Wednesday, Parliament had submitted written questions regarding the policy evaluation of article 2, the promoting of the autonomy of the Kingdom partners, of the Kingdom Relations budget. Parliament received the policy evaluation late June, 2017. The findings in the report were reason for Parliament to pose questions and to request a debate with the Minister.

The policy evaluation deals with the effectiveness of the deployed instruments to promote the autonomy of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, and whether the policy has achieved the desired effect. The most important instruments are the cooperation programmes and the financial supervision.

The cooperation programmes, executed through the Development Fund Netherlands Antilles SONA and the Antillean Co-financing Organisation AMFO, were terminated in 2015. The evaluation covers the period from the new constitutional relations in October 2010 up to the end of 2015.

The Second Chamber specifically sought clarity on one of the findings in the report that the intended integral approach to improve the security system as part of the Netherlands Antilles Security Plan (“Plan Veiligheid Nederlandse Antilles” PVNA) failed in some areas.
Plasterk explained that “important improvements” were realised in the so-called repression trajectory. Management of the judiciary has improved, the immigration process was better equipped and the ICT in the justice chain has made progress.

The goals of the Security Plan PVNA in the area of prevention, self-reliance and rehabilitation were only partially achieved. This is due to the fact that the islands insufficiently made use of the possibility to submit project proposals. Some project proposals were found to be of a low quality and therefore were not awarded.

The changes in government on the islands also did not help in the actual execution of the projects that were approved. A total of eight projects were approved and executed in the area of prevention, self-reliance and rehabilitation with a total value of more than NAf. 3 million, which was about 2.3 per cent of the total PVNA expenditures.

The contribution of the Dutch Government to strengthen the law enforcement system in the Dutch Caribbean countries will be part of another policy evaluation. This evaluation of article 1, the guarantee function, of the Kingdom Relations budget will be sent to the Parliament later this year, Plasterk announced.

The article 1 evaluation will deal with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, the Royal Dutch Marechaussee, the Detective Cooperation Team RST, the Joint Court of Justice, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the anti-corruption team TBO and the financial detectives.
“The findings from the article 1 evaluation, which specifically aims to guarantee legal security, proper governance and human rights in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, will offer a broader basis to draw conclusions on the approach of the security situation in the countries,” the Minister stated.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/69101-evaluation-shows-mixed-results-in-justice-projects