Justice Minister Anna Richardson and representatives of the Integrity Chamber.
PHILIPSBURG--Justice Minister Anna Richardson and her support staff met with the Integrity Chamber Sint Maarten for an introductory meeting on January 6.
Representing the independent administrative body were Integrity Chamber member Rafael Boasman and secretariat director Charna Pompier.
Richardson said she considers integrity to be one of the most important values that underpins the activities of the Ministry of Justice and its personnel. She recognises how it can affect public trust not only in the ministry, but in the entire government apparatus, and as such announced that she intends, in this current year, to pay closer attention to integrity issues, and ways on how the integrity standards can be raised throughout the ministry.
As such, the minister asked for the Integrity Chamber’s support in her efforts on this front. The Integrity Chamber has indicated to render support where possible and required within the ministry.
Boasman, on behalf of the three-member body that includes Rian Vogels (president) and Hans Lodder (member), said it was a positive step for Richardson to reach out to the Integrity Chamber to share her concerns, and to discuss bottlenecks faced within the Justice Ministry.
“The Integrity Chamber is here to assist where possible. It is important for the effective and efficient running of government for integrity to play a very prominent role. We look forward to and encourage others in government and its entities to reach out to us for information, for assistance, and for guidance,” said Boasman.
Richardson was very keen to learn about the Integrity Chamber and its core tasks of rendering advices, giving proposals, investigating suspected misconducts within administrative bodies (i.e., government and its entities, including government-owned companies) and the continuous provision of information to strengthen awareness about the importance of integrity in the community.
One question posed in the meeting by Richardson was if there has been an interest for the Ministry of Justice by the Integrity Chamber. The response was that there is in fact an interest for all of the ministries and government-owned companies, however, in this phase of its activities, the primary focus is on introducing itself to the ministries and learning what is already in place with regards to integrity, and how this is being documented. This way, the Integrity Chamber knows what issues are in need of immediate attention.
The Integrity Chamber expressed its delight in receiving the invitation for a meeting with Richardson, as the Ministry of Justice was also on its list of ministries to visit.