Justice Minister Anna Richardson (left) receiving an update on the function books from consultancy firm Balance. PHILIPSBURG–After taking about a year, the first phase in preparing the function books for Justice Ministry employees has been completed, said the Justice Ministry in a press release on Thursday.The announcement comes after a virtual meeting held between Justice Minister Anna Richardson and consultancy firm Balance on Wednesday. According to the Justice Ministry, former Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever contracted Balance to prepare the function books.Richardson requested a presentation from Balance because she wanted to get a summary about the work done thus far.Balance’s Managing Director Martin van den Blink provided a status report and advised Richardson about the steps needed to complete the function books.“The process to have the function books completed before ratification involves a three-step process,” said the Justice Ministry.The first phase was to create job descriptions according to the list of functions in the proposed function books. After taking about a year, this phase has been completed, said the Justice Ministry.“The second phase – the evaluation of job descriptions with the assigned salary scale – will be done by a workgroup comprising persons from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of General Affairs,” according to the press release. Van den Blink estimates that the second phase will take at least two months. The Justice Ministry says the workgroup is currently being formed.The last phase will determine the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in the Justice Ministry. This will be based on the workload per job description.“This session will be done with the input of the different department heads, and is scheduled for this month,” said the Justice Ministry.Richardson said completing the function books is among her ministry’s top five priorities, adding that she is eager to complete them so the “legislative process can start, and the function books can finally be ratified into law.”Richardson also said she had requested that Van den Blink have biweekly update meetings with her from now on.“Van den Blink also agreed to provide the Minister [Richardson – Ed.] with copies of the completed and signed draft job descriptions. In the next meeting with Balance Consultancy, the department heads will be invited for a direct update on the function books, on which they will update their direct staff,” said the Justice Ministry.