Minister Miklos Giterson, VROMI management and three persons who rendered assistance via the VNG project.
POND ISLAND–A technical assistance project supporting the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI was completed this month by VNG International, the Cooperation Agency of the Association of Dutch Municipalities, and the Ministry.
The project, set up after Hurricane Irma, aimed to eliminate backlogs at the Ministry post-Irma and was started on the Ministry’s request to help three departments: Permits, Domain Affairs and Inspection (environmental and building inspections). Dutch municipal officials provided the additional capacity to tackle the backlogs and prevent reoccurrence.
VNG delivered the project findings and achievement to Minister Mikos Giterson, Ministry Secretary-General Louis Brown and the Dutch Representative Office in Philipsburg.
Results of the collaboration include an increase in the number of environmental inspections and accompanying reports, an increase in the number of issued building permits, and support to eliminate the backlogs in the renewal procedure for leasehold contracts.
A spinoff of the work undertaken by the Dutch and local counterparts is recommendations on existing procedures and regulations, efficiency of current work processes and cooperation between the various departments within VROMI. A number of these recommendations will be followed up on to further strengthen the Ministry’s operational capacity, according to Brown.
Giterson thanked the VNG for its assistance at a time the country and its people needed it most.
The ministry gave the departing Dutch technical assistants tokens of appreciation for their service to St. Maarten.