Parliament supports transfer of tasks to Saba

THE HAGUE/SABA–The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament is encouraging the Dutch Government to arrange the transfer of tasks to the Public Entity Saba.

The Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations on Thursday requested State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops to have a consultation with the Saba Government regarding the transfer of more tasks. Knops was asked to take a serious look at the “possibility to reduce bureaucracy through Saba’s participation in the decision-taking in certain areas.”

The transfer of tasks to Saba could take place in the form of a pilot project as a sort of try-out. The Committee specifically mentioned the area of the issuing of work permits. The Saba Government has been clamouring for the transfer of tasks that are an entirely local matter, and are best decided upon by the local administration, which has more knowledge about the needs and particulars of the island.

Saba Commissioner Bruce Zagers stated in an invited comment that the support shown by the Committee was greatly appreciated. “The State Secretary often talks about ‘more for more.’ Saba has proven that it is ready for more responsibilities. This has been a discussion point now for some years. We hope that with this letter of the Committee and the enthusiasm that the State Secretary has already shown there will finally be a breakthrough,” he said.

The Commissioner explained that the Saba delegation, which visited the Netherlands in February this year, lobbied for a shared responsibility regarding the granting of work permits. Having this responsibility would mean that decisions about Saba would be made on Saba, thereby ensuring a much faster and a less bureaucratic process. The back office in Bonaire can serve as a control mechanism.

In addition, the Saba Government would also like for the Social Affairs and Labour Department SZW of the Dutch Government to become part of the local Social Affairs Department. “This would promote a one-stop-shop concept and allow for clients and departments to make better use of the available service,” said Zagers.

Source: The Daily Herald