Philipsburg September 17, 2014 – The Ombudsman, Dr. Nilda Arduin, requested all Ministers to provide her, prior to the change of the guard in the Council of Ministers, a status update of the implementation of recommendations issued over the period 2011-2013.
Leading up to the Parliamentary elections of August 29, 2014, the Ombudsman and the staff of the Bureau contributed in a new way to the democratic process of our young country. A special information session was held for aspiring Members of Parliament and prospective Ministers about the role of Parliament and the Council of Ministers in relation to the Ombudsman as provided for in the Constitution. Boards of all Political Parties and Candidates on their slates vying for a position in Parliament were invited to the session. The role of the Members of Parliament as the Trustees of the people and supervisors of the Ministers, as well as the Ministerial responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the business of the people, were highlighted.
With the Parliamentary year 2014-2015 having been opened, and the new Ministers to be appointed for the next governing period to be sworn in on October 10, 2014, the Ombudsman is requesting all Ministers to provide her a status report of the implementation of the recommendation issued by the Ombudsman in the period 2011-2013 before leaving office.
Considering that all parties involved, including the Bureau of the Ombudsman, had four years to get acquainted with the new institutions of the country, the Ombudsman will step up investigations and compliance with recommendations issued to government to better serve the needs and interests of the people. Reports will be regularly published on the website of the Bureau, and Parliament addressed when Ministers fail to respond adequately in executing their Ministerial responsibility in accordance with the law.
The Ombudsman listens, investigates and recommends government to act in the interest of the people. Only if all players in our constitutional state accept and execute their role as required, our democracy will prevail.
The Ombudsman and her team are committed to continue to execute their role in a responsible manner as provided for by law. Self-assessment is required to serve the community better. Reason why a survey among the public and government has been commissioned to J.S. Consulting Services, to improve the operations of the Bureau for greater results and effectiveness in protecting the rights of the citizens in the coming years.
The Ombudsman is an independent institution that listens to the needs of the people and recommends government and government agencies on how best to meet these needs. The Ombudsman also has the task of safeguarding the Constitution of Sint Maarten. The Ombudsman, Dr. Nilda Arduin received the 2014 Woman of Great Esteem Emerald Award in New York as well as the Emerald Award of Excellence. Dr. Arduin accepted the awards on behalf of all women who work diligently and passionately in their communities to better the lives of all persons.