Integrity training at St. Maarten Justice Ministry

POSTED: 04/9/14 12:53 AM

St. Maarten – Last Friday, Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson officially opened a ministry wide integrity training scheduled to take place for the next 6 months. The Minister expressed his gratitude for having been able to realize this project which was started before his time. He continued to emphasize his position and view when it comes to the “development and promotion of our country which abides by and has integrity as a pillar,” the Ministry said in a press release yesterday. The project was in the making since 2011 and was approved and financed by Dutch development funding through USONA on October 19, 2012. He mentioned that he was happy with the decision taken by USONA to have the project extended until September 30.

The Minister then took the opportunity to officially welcome the facilitators for the training, namely Price Waterhouse Cooper of Aruba, who have been allotted the contract through a bidding process to carry out the training program. Their bid proved to be the most in line with the vision of the Justice Ministry.

The Minister further explained that “these fine persons are not to be confused with Price Waterhouse Cooper New York carrying out the integrity trajectory initiated on the Kingdom level. To be exact, this project was in the making, and was approved, prior to the Kingdom of the Netherlands taking their decision to start their enquiry. The relevance of this project then and even now is to promote and encourage ethical behavior within the justice chain as service providers to the community at large.”

As he continued he explained that “integrity is the word most commonly mentioned on all levels within the community at present. All stakeholders are looking at this issue. The Government of Sint Maarten has been propagating this since 10-10-10 and just recently we were able to participate and witness the celebration of Integrity Day for government. We are about to embark on a process of not only speaking on the subject of integrity on the work floor but in effect actively participating, for each department individualized approach to bring into action that which we profess.”

The Minister continued by saying that “through these training sessions which will be interactive, the participants will be challenged to look closely at their behavior on and off the work floor and by doing so improve, and enhance existing work ethics and patterns, thus benefitting the participants and the ministry in particular and the community at large in general. The approach which will be used during the training of an individualistic nature, where dilemma’s faced by the different justice departments will be jointly looked at. This will be done in two forms.”

Richardson added that “on a managerial level as well as on the level of the work floor. It is expected that a general code of conduct for the Ministry of Justice will be developed jointly, with each participant giving their input into the creation of such. By means of this approach, those having to abide by the developed code of conduct for the justice chain will have a sense of ownership and will be expected to carry out their work in accordance with this code. This entire process will last six months. Though intensive, I am of the opinion that the lessons learned will benefit all in which we all have our own significant roles to play.”

The Minister further indicated that the kick-off of the integrity training, which involved all heads of departments, will serve as an introductory session. In total a number of 75 persons selected by the various department heads will be trained and they will also actively contribute in the creation of the code of conduct. These persons will be selected from every level of the various departments.

“I wish to leave you with my own thoughts being; Integrity starts with you and I, it’s not just a word but rather it is a way of life, a belief put into action. So let us all actively contribute in making this training a memorable and effective one which will benefit all,” Minister Richardson concluded.


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