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Transparency International, Curacao and Sustainable Development

Transparency International (TI) applies the National Integrity System (NIS) Model. The next image is a summary of the model.

What will the TI report onCuracao look like?

This is what the local paper reported.

And now my 5 cents contribution to the report.

Legislature

Elections were free, results are not disputed

Executive

Elaborate governmental agreement (regeerakkoord) and governmental program(regeerprogramma) containing a vision and specific goals. Planning and acting appear to go well, the question is if there is a link between the planning and the acting, but there definitely is no checking/measurement and acting.

No proper screening of ministers before appointment.

Ministers exert direct control over State Owned Enterprises.

Ministers travel too much.

Judiciary

Independent position of Judiciart.  Own budget, system is shared with other islands and is part of the supreme court in the Netherlands, checks-and-balances are in place to deal with the small scale of the society.

Still, much critique from the government and society on the system.  To many Dutch judges.

To many conflicts in society and up in front of a judge, because other mechanisms do not function properly enough.

Public Sector

The apparatus does not function.

To many political appointment.

Budget out of control

The placement of employees is still not formalised. Current public sector is too big (over 4.000 employees). Low level of knowledge within the public sector.

Before the new status was obtained, a new structure was developed, integrating former central and decentral tasks and responsibilities. Clear division between policymaking/legislation and operational tasks. Possibilities for integral management. Most instruments (computers, systems, housing, etc.) are in place and of sufficient quality.

Law Enforcement Agencies

Crime is on the rise.  The policy lacks intelligence. Most lawenforcement agencies (police, environmental, etc.) lack knowledge anddirection. Dutch money invested does not lead to law enforcement agencies because structures are insufficient and unable to process the results of the money invested.

Cooperation with other DC islands is embedded in the organization of the police force. Special units with input (manpower, intelligence) from the Netherlands. Specia lprogram funded by the Netherlands to upgrade police force.

Electoral Management Bodies

Electionshave been undisputed for decades. Only dispute was about the voting machines and that was solved.

The chair of the body has been fired by government for no good reason.

Ombudsman

Ombudsmanis independent and has a sound legal basis. Overflowedwith work, understaffed, the results of investigations do not stir thepolitical discussion, unless the results are perceived a personal attac. The ombudsman was intimidated by the prime minister after the ombudsman started an investigation on dubious affairs within the department of homeland security (VDC).

Supreme Audit Institution

The Supreme Audit Institution is weak.  This has been the case for decades.

Project to improve the supreme audit institution with the help of Dutch funds is awaiting approval for years.

SOAB (as the internal auditor) is functioning and has obtained a respected position. Results of investigations are hardly controversial and rarely followed up upon.

Anti-corruption agencies

VDC (homelandsecurity)  has be decapitated by government.

MOT (monitoring moneylaundry) seems to function well.

Civil servants all went through a training on integrity, paid for with Dutch funds. Unclear what happened with the structure after the new organizational structure came in effect at October 10 2010. No special anti corruption agency, Ombudsman deals with complaints of the public about the government.

LOB (LandsverordeningOpenbaarheid van Bestuur) is in place to enable the public to acquire information on decisions made by the government.

The wisselblowers are still not protected by law.

There is no privacy law.

Political Parties

Everyone can start a political party. A broad spectrum of parties always participate in the elections.

There is still no law regulating party financing.

Media

There are to many media.  They are very dependent upon sponsoring.  The quality must be improved. They are not independent. 

Very few journalists are educated as journalists. Report on issues and incidents, no investigative journalism. Strong ties between newspapers and radio stations with political parties. Media is dependent on others for their stories and as a result publishes press releases by copying them completely. Antillean desk of Wereldomroep is about to be closed down.

Civil Society

The NGOs are weak and lack expertise. Too many organizations, too little coordination. No data available on the different target groups and the results of the efforts made. Unions are stuck in an opposing role and completely overruled by this government. Structure for cooperation between government, unions and business does not function anymore. No shared agenda.

Over the last years, AMFO has supported many NGO by financing projects aimed at strengthening civil society. The funds AMFO used, were provided by the Dutch government. Unions successfully work(ed) together in the Kamera Sindikal. Structure for cooperation between government, unions and business does exist (anymore).

But lately the Civil Society has become the opposition agains govermenet, organizing themselfs via social meeting and organizing big public meetings to demand good governance.

Business

Business is frail.  They try to mitigate risks by buying political influence.

Strong political influence on the businesses. Government is involved in many aspects of doing business (permits, dismissal, pricing, etc. And the government is also on of the biggest clients.)

Economy did grow in the last five years. Tourism is an exception. New hotels were build and big chains established themselves on the island.

Education and division

The population is not educated enough and has been divided since colonial times.  This division has grown after 2005 and still persist.The population is very inward looking.

Overhaul of the educational system is a failure. Endless discussion on language of instruction, switch to Papiamentu has been reversed by many schools because ofthe lack of proper and sufficient material. New material is too expensive. Despite new system, teachers are still teaching according to the old system: top down and one way. Teachers union is unable to guide discussions and look for which way to go.

Large sums of money have been invested in order to upgrade and change the educational system.These funds were provided by the Dutch government. New material was developed,new curriculum was developed, language of instruction was changed to Papiamentu to align with the language spoken at home.

Integrity is a condition for Sustainable Development. If there is no good governance, money is wasted and wrong decisions are taken.

May be this blog will save the country some time and money.  The cost of the investigation of TI are about half a million guilders.

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