Council of Ministers for the Kingdom orders ethics investigation for St Maarten

At the proposal of Ronald Plasterk, the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom has instructed the governor of St Maarten to undertake an investigation of the performance and probity of the island's government. The aim of the investigation is to promote good governance befitting a democracy grounded in the rule of law.

Since the start of this year the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom has regularly expressed concern to the government of St Maarten that the competence and reputation of the island's authorities were increasingly a matter of debate. Within the Kingdom and beyond its borders, the island's image has become predominantly negative, and this impacts on the Kingdom as a whole. In order to regain the confidence of the public, businesses, institutions and foreign governments in St Maarten's governance, there is an urgent need for an independent investigation of problems with and shortcomings in the government's performance and ethical conduct.

The investigation must focus on sectors and fields that are known to be vulnerable, such as the gaming industry, prostitution, immigration, infrastructure and major public contracts. The scope of the investigation will extend to ministers and ministries and those employed by them. Government PLCs will also be examined. The investigation must be conducted independently and not by public agencies in the country of St Maarten itself.