PHILIPSBURG…….The Ombudsman, Dr. Nilda Arduin has completed a series of workshops with the various ministries which were held at the University of Saint Martin from August 8th 2013 and ended on August 15th 2013.
An introduction was given on the role of the Ombudsman in this new constitution and the role of the civil servants in upholding good governance. The main focus during the workshops was the application of thevarious propriety requirements(Dutch: behoorlijkheidsvereisten), the Standards of Proper Conduct.
Sessions Mainly for Civil Servants
These sessions were organized mainly for the following groups of civil servants: a) the civil servants who are directly in contact with the public; b) the civil servants who deal with complaints of the public; c) the policy advisors of the various ministries and d) the various Inspectors/bailiffs of the various ministries.
Standards of Proper Conduct
The following Standards of Proper Conduct were explained:
- Promptness: government must reply to request of citizens within a reasonable time or within the time stipulated by law;
- Accurate and Active Information Provision: the public expects that government provide the citizens actively and on demand with adequate information; the information is provided – on request or own initiative- to the citizens;
- Legal Certainty: compliance with court judgments and legitimate expectations
(information/advices must be based on a legal instrument);
- Correct treatment: Administrative bodies should treat citizens with respect; act politely and professionally;
- Adequate organization of services: government must ensure that their administrative management and organizational performance is set up in a manner that ensures proper services to citizens;
- Administrative Accuracy: accurate information must be provided.
Case Study Tasks
The participants were given the tasks to solve case studies that further dealt with the standards.
These sessions are geared towards maintaining and restoring the confidence of the public in government.
At the end of the sessions an evaluation sheet was given to the participants and the 2012 Annual Report of the Ombudsman was presented to the Secretary Generals or a representative of the Ministry.