PHILIPSBURG–Chairperson of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams has requested that Government submit to Parliament the draft Integrity Chamber ordinance and all documentation related to this, as well as the documentation related to the agreement on border control.
A press release from Wescot-Williams said the documents are necessary for Parliament to follow up on its motions on the Integrity Chamber and border control.
She had placed the motions on Parliament’s agenda for Tuesday, November 7, with the expectation that the draft ordinance along with the advice from the Council of Advice and Government’s comments will be presented to Parliament to be handled. That agenda point was not handled in Tuesday’s meeting as it was adjourned due to lack of a quorum.
“If, as the Government has alleged, these matters are already finalised, then nothing stands in the way of Parliament’s handling and subsequent approval,” it was stated in the release.
In its motions, Parliament has taken “a clear stand” on the matters of the Integrity Chamber and border control, which are the conditions for the reconstruction aid from the Kingdom government.
The draft Integrity Chamber law has to follow the legal procedures of any law, including receiving an advice from the Council of Advice. The advice must be accompanied by Government’s comments and reaction. While the border control agreement is the Justice Minister’s prerogative and Parliament has already instructed the Minister to comply with Parliament’s motion on this, the Integrity Chamber must be formalised in a law of Parliament, the release said.
“While hypothetically an initiative from Parliament can also accomplish legislation, such also has to be submitted to the Council of Advice and reacted upon. Hence, the call to Government to speed up the process and, by doing so, take away at least this hurdle standing in the way of the much-needed aid for St. Maarten,” the release said.