Philipsburg, Pursuant to the authority provided to the Ombudsman by law, Dr. Arduin presented a copy of a ‘letter of concern’ sent to the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication with regard to the (non-response on) follow-up on two complaints filed with the Ombudsman against the Ministry. The Ombudsman noted that notwithstanding numerous applications for the information over the past years, the Ministry has failed to provide the requested information, which is vital to monitor and supervise the Timeshare industry on Sint Maarten.
As a result of two investigations into the manner by which the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication monitors and supervises the Timeshare industry on Sint Maarten, the Ombudsman concluded that the National Ordinance for the issuance of economic permits (AB 2013, GT no. 126),
Considering the importance of the timeshare industry for Sint Maarten, the efforts of Parliament to legislate additional protection for the rights of timeshare owners, and queries by the Ombudsman at the Court of First Instance on Sint Maarten regarding the registration of timeshare regulations pursuant to the Permit Ordinance did not yield any results, the urgent attention was requested from the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication to provide the Ombudsman a progress report on recommendations issued. Failure by the Ministry to provide a status report regarding the supervision of compliance with the law by all Timeshare resorts, prompted the Ombudsman to inform Parliament by letter of August 8, 2016 accordingly. Both the letter to Parliament pursuant to the law and the “letter of concern” to the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication are available for review on the website of the Ombudsman: www.ombudsman.sx
This is the second time that the Ombudsman reports to Parliament subsequent to article 23 of the National Ordinance Ombudsman. As has been the case with the report on Cadaster, the Ombudsman awaits a reaction from both Government and Parliament regarding the concerns.
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