PHILIPSBURG……… On August 11th 2014 the Ombudsman, Dr. Nilda Arduin and the staff of the Bureau Ombudsman gave a presentation to the representatives of the Political parties in the upcoming Parliamentary election. The theme of the session was “The Role of the Ombudsman in relation to Parliament and the Council of Ministers.” From the questions posed it was evident that the participants welcomed the session. The Ombudsman reiterated the intention was to empower the aspiring Parliamentarians and possible Ministers with the information about the responsibilities of these institutions. In her presentation the Ombudsman compared the organization of the country with that of a limited liability company. Where the citizens in our country are the shareholders, Parliament the supervisory Board and the Council of Ministers CEO’s of the company.
“What should the people/the shareholders expect of their representatives, Parliament?
TRUST. Trust, that Parliament/the Supervisory Board will appoint the right persons to handle the day-to-day affairs of the people. Parliament is the Trustee of the people.
The highest vote getters on the list of the parties that capture a seat or seats will be charged with the responsibility of a trustee on behalf of the people.
Parliament as a body has the authority to appoint the Ministers, but on the other hand has the task to diligently supervise the work of the appointees as provided in the Constitution.
Ministers can be appointed from the list of political candidates, or outside of the political slate. However, once chosen to serve as a Minister, the Ministerial responsibility kicks in. The responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the country becomes a matter of the Ministers and the Council of Ministers. And here we have to be very aware, and be mature as a young country, as the task of Parliament as the Trustee of the people becomes extremely important.
Whether you support the body of Ministers as a coalition party or not, the Constitution charges Parliament with the supervision of how the country is run. Parliament does not just have the right, but more so has the duty to query the Ministers on all matters related to the affairs of the people as laid down in the Constitution.
Whether the CEO of the company is considered competent to do its job, is the task of the Supervisory Board, likewise this is the task of Parliament towards the Ministers. Parliament is accountable to the people”.
At the end of the presentation, the representatives of each party was presented with a package consisting of the Constitution, the Booklet entitled “The Constitution made simple”, the National ordinance Ombudsman, the National Ordinance Constitutional Court, the list of Standards of Proper Conduct which is being applied by the Ombudsman in the investigation of complaints, and the documents entitled “Understanding Propriety 2014.”
The Ombudsman listens, investigates, and recommends
Government to act on the concerns of the people
The Ombudsman is the Voice and Protector of the People