Philipsburg July 20, 2015: Ombudsman presents Year Report 2014 to the President of Parliament in accordance with the law. Presentation of the year report to the Prime Minister and the Governor follow on Tuesday July 21, 2015.
“Delivery, the Ombudsman Institution Sint Maarten established”
The Year Report 2014 titled “Delivery, the Ombudsman Institution Sint Maarten established” provides a review of the highlights of activities in 2014 and pictorial, a statistical overview of the complaints handled in 2014 as well as a comparison with 2013. The report is finalized with financial reporting on both the budget allocated by Government and USONA. Last mentioned reached its final financing stage of the IVB-program (‘Institutionele Versterking Bestuurskracht Programma’) at the end of 2014.
In 2014 sixty eight (68) new complaints were registered with the Ombudsman, while four (4) cases of 2012 and twenty four (24) cases of 2013 were brought over and handled in 2014. One hundred and thirty (130) investigations were closed in 2014, of which fifty four (54) were new complaints registered in 2014. In thirty (30) cases the Ombudsman issued recommendations. Twenty six (26), 43 percent of the total amount of recommendations (62 in total), were followed by the end of the year by Government.
In 2014 the Ombudsman for the first time made use of the competence provided for by law to inform Parliament immediately upon closing the investigation of a case regarding the findings and the decision. By letter dated June 10th, 2014 the Ombudsman reported pursuant to article 23 of the National Ordinance Ombudsman to Parliament regarding the findings in a complaint filed by a citizen against ‘Kadaster & Hypotheekwezen’ (further referred to as ‘Kadaster’). This action was taken due to continued disregard by Kadaster of the laws of the Land, and failure by the Minister of VROMI and or Finance to adequately respond to appeals by the Ombudsman to look into the pertinent private entity charged with public authority. Apart from some meetings held in the Central Committee, this matter was not dealt with by the end of 2014.
Propriety, the standards of proper conduct, was highlighted as the main focus in 2014 in preparation to ‘step up our game’ in 2015. However, the performance of government in dealing with the public bared concern as the year started. Reason why the Ombudsman expressed her concerns to the Prime Minister in a letter dated April 10, 2015. The Ombudsman plans to discuss these concerns with the Prime Minister when presenting her Year Report.