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Breaking:Knops Answers Parliament’s questions in writing about the Sint Maarten prison system, the reconstruction and the third tranche liquidity support English/Dutch

Answers to parliamentary questions in writing about Sint Maarten regarding the prison system
on Sint Maarten, the State Secretary Knops offers the House of Representatives an answer to parliamentary questions about the prison system on Sint Maarten, the reconstruction of Sint Maarten and the third tranche of liquidity support for Sint Maarten.
To the chairman of the Lower House of Parliament
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I hereby offer you the answers to your questions about the prison system
on Sint Maarten, the reconstruction of Sint Maarten and the third tranche
liquidity support Sint Maarten. Regarding the prison system of Sint Maarten,
I also answer the questions on behalf of the Minister for Legal Protection.
In the answer I have chosen to answer the questions of
the different factions on the prison system and the relationship between
reconstruction and liquidity support. Answered the remaining questions
I then per fraction.
The State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations,
drs. R.W. Knops
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II Response of the cabinet
Prison system Sint Maarten
The concerns about it resound from the input of the various groups
prison system in Sint Maarten. The Minister for Legal Protection, in part
on whose behalf I answer and share the questions about the prison system
to care. I note that the improvement of the detention conditions in Sint
Maarten cannot wait any longer. Since October 10, 2010, Sint Maarten is one
autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten has one
own responsibility for law enforcement, including the
prison system. However, the prison system is struggling with persistent
problems and Sint Maarten has made too little progress in recent years
booked when it comes to improving conditions. The signals and
observations of bodies such as the Sint Maarten progress committee, the
Council for Law Enforcement, European Court of Human Rights
and the Institute for Human Rights are clear: improving it
prison system should no longer be delayed. I like your Chamber more often
have announced, the problem requires a decisive approach. It
The government has repeatedly shown itself willing to offer help and assistance.
The VVD faction inquires about the conversations I have with Sint Maarten about
the prison system, also in connection with the course of the third tranche
liquidity support, on which an agreement was reached with Sint Maarten on 22
December 2020. Below I will discuss the agreements made in the
talks between Sint Maarten and the Netherlands in the context of the multi-year
liquidity support, and in the context of the Ministerial Consultation of 9 November
Agreements agreement December 22, 2020
With the agreement of 22 December 2020 on the third tranche of liquidity support –
and the associated Kingdom Act on Caribbean reforms
development body (COHO) and the so-called country package – among others
firmly committed to improvements in the prison system. This is a one-off
an amount of € 30 million has been made available. This is for the benefit of both the
construction of a new prison as well as structural improvements in the
detention conditions.
The members of the GroenLinks group have asked several questions about it
this one-off contribution. The members wonder how the promised Dutch
direction and supervisory role will be fulfilled exactly and how it will be
avoid the problems faced by the Sint Maarten progress committee
observes (inadequate implementation of the action plans and the lack
of resolute leadership in the Justice Department of Sint Maarten),
progress in improving the prison system on Sint Maarten
hinder. In response, I can report that the € 30 million through the budget and
under the direction and supervision of the Ministry of the Interior and
Kingdom Relations (BZK) are spent. This happens in
cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Security and in consultation with
including the Ministry of Justice of Sint Maarten.
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The members of the GroenLinks faction also want to know how to build a new one
prison complies with the recommendation of the progress committee
to take improvement of the entire detention chain as a starting point, instead of
the construction of a new prison desired by Sint Maarten. beside
they ask how the recommendation of the Progress Committee, that one
strengthening the Ministry of Justice of Sint Maarten is a precondition
is to be able to implement the action plans, relates to the
one-off contribution of € 30 million. I can inform you that the € 30 million
will have to make a substantial contribution to the implementation of the action plan1 and
thus the prison system as a whole. € 20 million of this contribution will
go to the construction of a new prison building. The current
prison building is not sufficient because of the limited capacity. In addition
it is so outdated and damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria that it
Building a new facility is the most effective way to be sustainable
to make improvements. This was also noted by the Service
Correctional Institutions, which published the action plan in 2018. The construction of the
the new prison therefore makes an important contribution to the implementation
of the action plan. However, Sint Maarten is due to its current financial
position unable to fully fund this itself. The remaining € 10 million
will be spent on other parts of the action plan for the
the next five years, so that the entire detention chain is strengthened. With this
The Netherlands does not directly strengthen the Ministry of Justice, this is after all up to Sint
Maarten himself, but the Netherlands does support the role of the ministry in the plan
of approach. Moreover, the Netherlands also contributes to the appointment of a
program manager, as explained below. This will create a
important recommendation of the progress committee.
In light of the foregoing, it is also important to mention that about
the prison system are two measures under the land package
agreed. As I informed your House by letter dated 11 September 2020,
the first measure is the joint commissioning of the Netherlands and
Sint Maarten to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for the
construction of a new prison 2. The second measure concerns implementation
of the agreements that were between Sint Maarten and the Netherlands on October 19, 2018
made about the most necessary improvements after the damage to the
prison as a result of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. To this one
measures in the country package has an end date, so that the Netherlands
keeps pressure on improvements in the prison system.
Agreements Ministerial Consultation 9 November 2020
Although it is and remains the responsibility of Sint Maarten for it
to get the prison system in order, Sint Maarten has not yet succeeded
to make progress independently. For this reason, the Minister of Justice
from Sint Maarten in a letter dated 9 October 2020 made a request to me for both
1 For the tasks that Sint Maarten could not yet perform independently on 10-10-10 is at that time
established a plan of action, also for detention. The General Measure of
Central government Cooperation scheme guaranteeing plans for tackling land tasks Curaçao
and Sint Maarten is the basis for this. A revised action plan was drawn up in 2018
to replace the 2010 plan: “A safe society: Building a
responsible and sustainable sanction implementation on Sint Maarten (2018 – 2023) ”.
2 Parliamentary papers II, 2019/2020, 35 300 IV, no. 73

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aid and assistance as cooperation with regard to the prison system. In the
Ministerial Consultation of 9 November 2020 with the Prime Minister of Sint
Maarten, in the presence of the Minister of Justice of Sint Maarten and the
Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, then, among others
agreed on how the cabinet can provide support. Specifically, it has been discussed
help and assistance with financial resources from the Netherlands to, in the short term,
among other things to realize structural improvements and about agreements on the
long term, such as with a new prison building.
The funds for this short-term help and assistance come from the
direct aid in the context of reconstruction. These are spent on the
following agreements:
– Program manager
On the advice of the Sint Maarten Progress Committee, one
program manager are deployed with the assignment of planning and the
to undertake the implementation of the action plan for the prison system.
Recruitment for the program manager will start this spring.
– Educations
The prison staff of the Point Blanche prison Sint has been missing for some time
Maarten has the necessary (up-to-date) knowledge and expertise to fulfill their task
should be able to perform. Sint Maarten has insufficient
training opportunities to train the staff themselves. That is why I view with
the Minister for Legal Protection and the Agency’s training institute
Judicial Institutions (DJI) which training options Sint Maarten can provide
are offered.
– HR advisor
The progress committee has established in several reports that the
Staffing levels in the Point Blanche prison on Sint Maarten not in order
is. To reduce the capacity shortage and the high level of absenteeism
The Netherlands will provide an HR advisor. In a Ministerial
Consultation with Sint Maarten will discuss the next steps where Sint
Maarten will follow up. For example, the Netherlands can closely monitor whether the
HR policy is put in order.
– Architectural improvements
Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 hit the prison badly.
The Netherlands will contribute financially to various architectural improvements of the
list of agreements for improvement measures 2018, such as the complete renewal of the
lightning protection and tidying up the fire alarm installation.
– UNOPS preliminary investigation
Sint Maarten’s intention is to form a UNOPS in the short term
conduct a preliminary investigation into the building of a new prison.
In the Ministerial Consultation of April 23, 2020, I spoke on behalf of the cabinet
is willing to finance part of the preliminary research. Condition
this is a shared commissioning position with Sint Maarten towards UNOPS.
This does not alter the fact that Sint Maarten has structural financial resources in the
budget will have to be released for the benefit of the prison system, which
was discussed in the Ministerial Consultation of 9 November 2020.
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Due to the combination of the efforts of Sint Maarten, the aid mentioned above
and assistance and the resources that the cabinet makes available for a new one
judicial institution creates a win-win situation. The Netherlands will – just as with the
one-off contribution of € 30 million – being able to give direction through help and assistance
to the implementation of the action plan and in this way improvements
speed up.
Motions on the prison system
The CDA and GroenLinks groups ask about the role and
division of responsibility with regard to the improvements in the
prison system, where the CDA faction specifically asks about the stand
of matters surrounding the motions. I’ll go into more detail about the implementation of this below
The questions from both political groups relate to the succession of the cabinet
has given to the Van Dam / Bosman3 motion of 22 June 2020 about the leave
taking over the prison system in Sint Maarten by the Reich Council of Ministers
and the Van Dam et al. 4 motion of 10 October 2019 on a separation of management
and authority in the maintenance of the rule of law. The PvdA faction asks about this
a response to the progress committee’s comment that the
Kingdom government bears responsibility for the surrounding situation
solve humanitarian abuses in prison.
My position on this is that it remains paramount that the Netherlands can contribute to
the improvement of the prison system, but that taking care of the
realization of human rights pursuant to Article 43, paragraph 1, of the
Status, is a matter of the country itself. In addition, the kingdom is op
under the second paragraph of article 43 of the Charter, but responsible for the
safeguarding these rights.
The members of the PvdA group also ask whether there is between the Netherlands and Sint Maarten
discussed the possibility of making a provision based on
the Cooperation arrangement for safeguarding plans for tackling land tasks on Curaçao
and Sint Maarten – by the Kingdom government.
The cabinet is not convinced that it will take a provision or
intervention by the Kingdom, by taking over the prison system or
otherwise, is the best choice right now. There are as described above
other choices possible, such as cooperation between Sint Maarten and the Netherlands
take as a starting point. Make a division between management and authority, in it
within the framework of such collaboration, as the motion calls for Van Dam et al
according to the cabinet, however, too far and would affect the autonomy of
St Martin. The will of Sint Maarten to take steps now with regard to
the prison system in combination with the aforementioned help and assistance, the
measures under the country package and the one-off contribution of € 30
million for the prison system I see as the appropriate way to achieve
the long-desired improvement of detention conditions. This is in line with the
thought behind the motions and the widespread concerns. Go for the cabinet
after all, it is not about the form or basis for improvement, but about the
achieving the goal: the improvement of detention conditions. I
note that I have given substance to the motions of the Second
3 Parliamentary papers II 2019/2020 35 300 IV, No. 62
4 Parliamentary papers II 2019/2020 35 300 IV, No. 22
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Other questions for the prison system
I would like to emphasize once again that the prison system in Sint Maarten is under
The responsibility of Sint Maarten itself falls, as well as the management and policy
from Point Blanche detention facilities. Questions related to
national affairs of Sint Maarten, I answer below. So ask the
members of the D66 faction or the Netherlands can make a difference in mediation
between the Minister of Justice and the new management of the prison.
A mediating role for the Netherlands in the relationship between the Minister of Justice
and the prison administration, however, in view of the foregoing, would not be appropriate.
To the question of the members of the D66 party to what extent the current board
of the prison will be involved in the construction of a new prison,
I can say that all stakeholders are naturally involved in this.
Both the VVD fraction and the D66 fraction ask about the placement and
commissioning of the container cells that the Netherlands will supply to Sint Maarten in 2019
has delivered. The authorities of Sint Maarten have informed me that the
container cells have not yet been put into use. Sint
Maarten the high costs involved with placement and installation as well
the concerns about the suitability of the container cells for Sint Maarten, given
environmental factors such as the hurricane season. In the UNOPS proposal
be taken along or use of the containers is still possible
belongs for temporary increase of the cell capacity.
Regarding the question of the D66 faction about the number of suspects that their
seat now in freedom and how many of them are suspected of heavy
offenses, this was the case with the authorities of Sint Maarten at the time of dispatch
of this letter still unknown. Regarding the question of the D66 party about
Miss Lalie Center, the Sint Maarten authorities have informed me that it is
juvenile detention center is fully operational and currently has eight clients
has. About the question from the PvdA party about the state of affairs regarding the
Sint Maarten candidate as member of the progress committee, have the
authorities of Sint Maarten informed me when asked that there will be soon
a new member will be nominated for appointment in the progress committee
to the Reich Council of Ministers. Finally, the members of the PvdA party ask if there is one
This explains the high sickness rate among employees of the
Point Blanche’s prison. The progress committee finds in their 28th
reporting that about 50% of staff members are absent due to illness. The
authorities of Sint Maarten have not been able to explain this to me.
The cabinet considers it important that the HR policy is quickly put in order
through Sint Maarten. As stated above, the government is therefore also granting in this area
help and assistance, in the form of an HR advisor.
Reconstruction and liquidity support
I will continue below by answering the questions about the
reconstruction and liquidity support in relation to the COHO. Wherein I start with
the question of the relationship between both processes. Both members of the CDA
group and the members of the D66 group have asked questions about this.
The members of the CDA faction draw attention to the concurrence between the two
the trajectory of the third tranche of liquidity support – and the
coherent COHO Act and the so-called national package – and it already
longer-term financial support program that after Hurricane Irma through the World Bank to

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has come about. The members of the D66 faction also inquire about this. In the
As a continuation of this, the members of the CDA group ask what the size is
both trajectories, where both trajectories focus on and in
how far these can intermingle. I can be members of both
political groups report that the support of up to € 550 million (of which a maximum
€ 470 million for the trust fund) which the Netherlands has received under the
reconstruction Sint Maarten has committed to restore the
effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which hit the country for one in September 2017
have destroyed a large part. The liquidity support provided in tranches to Sint Maarten
is necessary because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Around the
the country’s resilience to the consequences of such crises in the future
country packages have been agreed and the COHO
established. This trajectory is aimed at promoting administrative reforms
nature, become sustainable public finances
achieved and the resilience of the economy is strengthened, including
of the constitutional embedding that is required for this. The most important
The interface between the two processes is the promotion of good governance as
prerequisite for successful implementation.
The reforms agreed in the country package are complementary
to the reconstruction projects that are already being carried out under the
trust fund with the World Bank. Although the two trajectories are separate from each other
will stay, they must reinforce each other. To illustrate this
I call the restoration of the airport terminal through the trust fund, in combination
with the necessary improvements to the
corporate governance of the airport and of other government entities. In
Building Back Better is an investment in the “bricks” of the
airport not sufficient; also the way in which the airport is managed and
the associated “checks & balances” need to be addressed. With
this improvement in corporate governance was in the context of the
Reconstruction has already begun as a prerequisite for the release of the
means for the repair of the airport terminal. For this Sint Maarten had
a Task Force Corporate Governance has been set up. The plans they have
Since then, however, have hardly been taken any further by the government
from Sint Maarten. In the national package it has now been agreed that the government of Sint
Maarten will actively implement these plans. Moreover, the Netherlands can use the
Provide temporary work organization / COHO support. At the
answering the questions of the CDA faction I will go into the role and
function of the Temporary Work Organization (TWO).
It is another example where the two processes can reinforce each other
World Bank project that concerns the digitization of the government. Digitization is
an important basis for the functioning of the government and a necessary one
precondition for many of the measures in the national package. Through the
trust fund a start is already made on this. The project has three
main components: (1) strengthen policy and institutional
environment, (2) building digital platforms to enable services
and (3) improving user-centric public services.
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I see no reason to stop and undermine the World Bank process prematurely
within the COHO plans. The reconstruction process is at the time
asked the World Bank to implement this, partly because of their expertise in this
subject matter and knowledge and experience with small island states. For the
Implementation of the country packages requires different expertise. Which
reconstruction is delayed, partly caused by the Covid-19 crisis,
does not mean that other expertise is needed for the reconstruction process with
the World Bank. It is important that any projects of the
reconstruction and the land packages complement and reinforce each other.
CDA fraction
Below I will discuss questions from the CDA group about the shape and quality of the
official support, the implementation skills of the government in Sint-
Maarten, associates, the financial support to Winair, integrity of
administrators and the degree of support in Parliament for the consensus Kingdom Act.
The members of the CDA faction want to know which form of civil service
support is organized, both in the Netherlands and on Sint Maarten, inclusive
insight into the support from (or at the expense of) the Netherlands to the government
on Sint Maarten, where it concerns the realization of the national package and everything
what goes with it. They are also interested in the quality of those
support and whether this is purely in the process or financial area, or whether there is
legal substantive – rule of law – support is provided.
The COHO will on the one hand monitor the implementation of the reforms and
on the other hand, it will provide support in necessary ways. So long
the COHO has not yet been established, a TWO within my ministry is responsible for the
support for the implementation of the country package. About the exact furnishing
and the operation of the proposed COHO I will conduct substantive discussions with
enter your House at the time after the bill has been submitted to the
Sint Maarten is primarily responsible for the implementation of the
measures agreed in the country package. Here it is
starting point that it concerns a collaboration between the COHO, Sint Maarten
and the Dutch ministries. What official support for this
on the Sint Maarten side, is of course on the land itself. The
Prime Minister informed me that during my visit in January 2021
the SG platform, to which the secretaries general of all Sint Maarten
ministries participate, will implement the reform task. She also has
informed me that a Monitoring Committee has been set up which is responsible
is for monitoring progress.
In response to the question of the members of the CDA faction about the way in which the
I can improve the implementation skills of the government on Sint Maarten
report that the measures formulated in the country package are finished
aimed to push through economic, financial, social and institutional reforms
necessary to increase the executive power of Sint Maarten and
make the country resilient and resilient. It is explicitly important here
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that these developments are future-oriented and that sustainable assurance is central
state so that the developments persist in the long term. This is consistent with
the starting points formulated with regard to the working method of the
TWO and the COHO.
The members of the CDA faction would like to know to which companies
be established on Sint Maarten or operate from Sint Maarten de
Dutch government participates, what the size of the participation is and on
how the Dutch government (as shareholder) exerts influence on this
The Dutch State is a shareholder in one company located on Sint Maarten
is established. The State has a 7.95% stake in the airline
Winair. The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management fulfills on behalf of the
Dutch State has the shareholder role. Winair operates from its home base on Sint
Maarten operates flights to various destinations in the Caribbean. Saba and
Sint Eustatius depend on the air connection for their accessibility
with Sint Maarten.
The Memorandum on Participation Policy5 describes how the Dutch State
gives substance to its shareholder role. That is by continuously assessing whether
the business strategy is congruent with the public interest of the state participation
serves, by actively assessing investments and by the remuneration policy of the
boards of directors and supervisory directors. The State also steers
by means of standard efficiency and the pursuit of healthy
capital ratios also maintain value after. Finally, the State sends as
shareholder on good governance of a state holding. Your Chamber becomes
informed annually about the current interpretation of the shareholder role in the
Annual report on management of State participations 6.
In response to the questions from the members of the CDA party, I can report that the
The Dutch government as a participant in Winair is aware of the fact that in 2012
there was an unlawful appropriation of an amount of USD 41,230.04
by an employee of Winair. I am also aware of the fact that these
former employee is now an active politician. This past case has no
played a role in the decision-making regarding the allocation of support to Winair. The
person in question is no longer employed by Winair and the amount of USD
41,230.04 has been fully repaid. From a shareholder role, the government is committed to
good governance in state holdings.
The Prime Minister of Sint Maarten has an urgent request at the beginning of December
done to provide direct support to Winair. Obviously, the cost for the
taxpayer and the risk to the state. By shutting down
a mortgage loan gives substance to this. The borrowed money
must be repaid and the airport building serves as collateral, and it
Company may not receive bonuses, dividends or profits until the loan is repaid
5 Parliamentary Papers II 2013/2014 28 165-165
6 Parliamentary papers II 2019/2020 28 165-326.
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pay out. The Winair company has also previously submitted a request for financial support
submitted to the national government. This request is handled according to the
Assessment framework for support requests from individual companies 7. It could be that
this shows that additional support in a different form is needed.
This answers the question why it was decided to act as external
act as financier of Winair, instead of providing capital
shareholder to work on reducing the (current) negative
equity of Winair. The borrowed money must be repaid, and the
airport building serves as collateral. With this loan Winair is for short
term out of trouble.
The members of the CDA party ask how it appears that in the States of Sint
Maarten has concrete support for the current agreement, now the statements in the
States rather point to support for the prime minister rather than for one
agreement. The members of the CDA group ask whether I share their view of the support
the States is very vulnerable. These members ask what this means for the
necessary political support on Sint Maarten to successfully reach a consensus
Statute law to come.
With the agreement that the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten and I on December 22
2020, our countries have entered into a cooperation path
that will only succeed if both countries fully adhere to it
commit. Sufficient political support, not only in the cabinet but also in the
parliament is crucial in this. This does not only apply to the consensus Kingdom Act,
but also for the implementation of the included in the country package
necessary reforms.
Given the statements and the choice of words of various States members, I understand
the concern that the support of these members is vulnerable. However, this should not distract from it
the fact that a very large majority of the members of Parliament have explicit support
voted for an agreement and that this support is also in writing
confirmed by the President of Parliament. As a country within our Kingdom
Sint Maarten therefore deserves the benefit of the doubt. This cabinet will turn
make every effort to implement the necessary reforms together with Sint Maarten
as long as Sint Maarten complies with the agreements made. Element of
these agreements are the realization of the COHO Act. If the
the required consensus is lacking or the proposal falls away, it will already
closed country package will cease to exist by operation of law.
The members of the CDA group ask about the arrest of Mr Corallo
December 13, 2016 by Team Combating Undermining (TBO) and the
Investigation Cooperation Team (RST) at the request of the Italian authorities
for suspicion of, among other things, tax fraud and money laundering and whether the
The cabinet is of the opinion that there are currently sufficient guarantees on Sint
Maarten that the political decision-making – especially around the financial support
The Netherlands – is sufficiently safeguarded from improper influence.
7 Parliamentary Papers II 2019/2020 35 420-36
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In addition to the letter of 21 April 20178 mentioned by you in which my predecessor
the House of Representatives, I also have you in response to parliamentary questions
referred to the arrest of Mr Corallo9. Where there is
(suspicion of) criminal activities has a role for the Public
Ministry of Sint Maarten. The Netherlands supports Sint Maarten with the
undermining approach that will be converted to a structural one from 2022
strengthening the organizations involved (the RST, the Public Prosecution Service and the
Common Court of Justice) about which I have your House on 6 October 2020
informed 10. In my letter of 7 October 201911 I already reported on the
results of the 2016–2019 project approach, which showed that the approach
successful corruption, tax fraud, money laundering, forgery, fraud
and embezzlement by politically exposed persons and private companies
brought to light. In the same letter I also informed the House that
as a side effect of the undermining approach, the resistance in society to
corruption is increasing. This strengthens the information position of the police services,
which offers opportunities in cases of identified improper influence
take timely and adequate action.
D66 fraction
Below I will discuss the questions about reorganization of the police chain, the stand
of cases of implementation of conditions for second tranche of liquidity support and third
tranche of trust fund for reconstruction, put forward by the members of D66.
The members of the D66 party ask how the generic condition from the third
tranche that no cuts are applied that affect the operational
impact implementation capacity within the most vital sectors of the rule of law,
is consistent with the recommendation to reorganize the police chain.
This condition has been agreed in the context of liquidity support and includes
that until further notice no cutbacks may be applied that exceed the
operational execution capacity within the most vital sectors of the
rule of law, including the police chain. The purpose of this condition is
to ensure that the basis of the rule of law does not become such
affecting public order and safety. It’s more efficient
and more effective (re) organizing of organizations does not have to be a limitation
manage operational execution capability. As part of the measures
however, it must be ensured that the implementation capacity is not compromised
and is therefore contrary to the condition. In accordance with the provisions of the
Collaboration arrangement safeguarding plans for tackling land tasks Curaçao and
Sint Maarten will send the minister concerned without delay after the determination of
an amended plan of action (including the staffing plan) this amended plan
for ratification to the Ministerial Consultation, consisting of the ministerial
president of Sint Maarten and myself.
The members of the D66 group inquire about the current situation
to implement the conditions for the second tranche.
8 Parliamentary papers II 2017/2018 D11450
9 Appendix to Proceedings II, 2017/18, no.1511
10 Parliamentary papers II 2019/2020 35 570 IV, no. 13
11 Parliamentary papers II 2019/2020 35 300 IV, no. 14

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When the Netherlands and Sint Maarten reached an agreement on December 22
with regard to the National Package, Sint Maarten had already fulfilled a great deal
part of the conditions that were set to qualify for the
second installment. Three conditions were not met, namely the determination
of three national ordinances that refer to a 25% reduction in the total
package of employment conditions for members of Parliament, the discount of 12.5% on the total
package of employment conditions for employees in the (semi) public sector and a
maximizing top salaries. To be eligible for the third
tranche of liquidity support, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten have agreed that Sint
Maarten will implement the determination of the
mentioned national ordinances with retroactive effect from 1 July 2020
must be given substance. Several days before the expiration of this
deadline I received a written letter from the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten
request for postponement. From this letter it emerged that the national ordinances with
Parliament are in the process of adopting and the Prime Minister expected that
the parliamentary debate leading to this determination on January 29, 2019.
would have been completed. This showed me that Sint Maarten is taking serious steps
was to establish the aforementioned national ordinances.
Because I wanted to provide space for a thorough parliamentary debate
I have granted an extension until January 31, 2021. The national ordinances are finally
adopted by Parliament on 3 February last.
The ratification of the conditions of the second tranche and how
implementation is one of the variables in the
decision-making with regard to the allocation of the fourth tranche. This one
decision-making is provided for in the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of 26 February 2019.
The members of the D66 group ask for insight into the results of the ongoing
projects and would like an explanation of why this is expected to be more
will cost money. The D66 faction is also asking about steps that have been taken since the
semi-annual reports from 2020 have been taken to speed up reconstruction
and the extent to which bottlenecks have been removed. In accordance with my commitment 12
I will inform the House periodically about the progress of the reconstruction. At the 25
Last September I informed your House about the latest state of affairs
based on the second progress report13. I expect from the World Bank
in mid-February 2021 the Annual Report 2020, which I of course with your House
will share.
In anticipation of this, I can inform the House that despite the negative
impact of Covid-19, progress has been made. For example, various repairs have been completed
or got off to a good start. These include the police stations, the
main shelter sites and the recovery of private homes. Also is
the restoration of the airport terminal is in progress, as well as the
new construction of the hospital. In addition, it is – especially at this time – so important
– Enterprise Support Project launched successfully. Be with this project
12 Parliamentary Papers II 2019/2020 34 773, No. 9
13 Parliamentary papers II 2019/2020 34 773, no. 21
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Attractive financing options offered to entrepreneurs so that they can increase their
can give a responsible (re) start to a company. In addition, under
management of VNG international in consultation with local partners the project
Recources for Community Resilience (R4CR) launched, which provides the trust fund
resources have also become accessible to local non-governmental
organizations (NGOs). Nevertheless, structural attention is needed because
progress and concrete results are sometimes delayed. I will already mention
the waste project, which is complex and always involves new dilemmas
occur. It is important there that in the next six months that significant
steps are being taken. In addition to offering technical assistance, I have
repeatedly urged both the World Bank and Sint Maarten for one
decisive, effective and pragmatic approach. I wear this line both
verbally and in writing and is followed up by making concrete agreements
and monitor its implementation.
It is indeed expected that a number of projects will require more budget
will be. Decisions about additional budget for projects are made in the
steering group, in which the Netherlands is represented. Of course I will be your Chamber
inform about these decisions, I expect that with the following
To be able to do (annual) reporting.
When it comes to the way in which the required technical knowledge will be
anticipated I note that the implementation of reconstruction projects first of all
Primarily the responsibility of Sint Maarten, supported by the
World Bank. The World Bank is involved as a partner at the request of the Netherlands
precisely because of the knowledge and expertise with reconstruction processes on small island
states. A component is provided for in the various trust fund projects
the use of technical assistance (knowledge and expertise). In addition, it is assumed
The Netherlands has a budget for direct support, which can be used, among other things
to contribute directly in the form of technical assistance. So is
already actively contributed to conducting research into air quality
following the fires on the dump (by the National Institute for
Public Health and Environment in 2019), support is provided to the
airport (by the Royal Schiphol Group, from 2019) and supports it
Dutch Ministry of Finance in the review of tax legislation
In response to the question of how to avoid COHO against the same problems
will run as the trust fund in the realization of the planned projects, mark
I note that the experiences surrounding the reconstruction show that a political agreement with
Sint Maarten is no guarantee for a smooth cooperation. Because the Netherlands
now provides and directs targeted support and capacity via the TWO / COHO
The Cabinet believes that the progress has a good basis for implementation
of necessary reforms in the interest of the citizens of Sint Maarten.
If reforms are not implemented as agreed, it provides
proposal of COHO Act in a number of mechanisms About these mechanisms
if desired, I will have a discussion during the parliamentary debate on the
Page 14 of 14
PvdA party
Below I will discuss questions from the PvdA group about strength and
support from the Netherlands for the Sint Maarten Police Force.
The members of the PvdA party express their concerns about the filling of the
police force. They want to know what concrete steps are being taken to implement the
the current strength of the corps and what options the cabinet has to offer
sees to be supportive in this.
In recent years, the Dutch Police has established the Sint Maarten Police Force
(KPSM) supported and assisted. The commitment of the Dutch police is
twofold: supplying capacity to absorb capacity loss and the
commitment of the Police Academy for training. In total there will be four classes
basic police education (BPO) are trained, financed by the Netherlands. All
classes will be completed in 2021. KPSM also tries to recruit side entrants
recruiting for more capacity.
In addition, for the next two years, the Dutch Police will issue the KPSM upon request
provide assistance at strategic level (2 FTE) and in the field of
policy support (1 FTE). With this, the management of the KPSM can use the
will be supported in the further construction and development of
the force and management.

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