THURSDAY, 08 AUGUST 2013
PHILIPSBURG–Requests to ﬁll critical vacancies within Government’s apparatus now have to be reviewed and
agreed on by the Council of Ministers as the United People’s (UP) partyled coalition continues a personnel hiring freeze
as a cost-cutting measure. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams announced during Wednesday’s Council of Ministers Press Conference that the secretaries-general of the seven ministries have been informed about the halt to hiring
new personnel and about the need for the council to review all requests to fill critical vacancies.
The critical need to ﬁll a vacancy would have to be justiﬁ ed and properly documented by the department wanting to hire
personnel. The Council of Ministers has made it clear that “it is not a situation [where-Ed.] we can ﬁll vacancies, because they are part of the formation of a department. It is regretful that we have had to resort to this measure,” the prime minister said.
Critical vacancies within government departments had numbered about 20 in the past. However, overall general vacancies number more. The prime minister pointed out though there are civil servants who need to be placed in adjusted functions; this does not mean they could be shifted to ﬁ ll the critical vacancies. Those vacancies often required a specialised background and skills.
As government continues its cost cutting and revenue-generating measures related to getting the revised 2013 budget
passed by the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT, the Council of Ministers is also looking closely at its ﬁnancial relationship with its companies and semi-government institutions. Wescot-Williams said for “a long time” there has been talk of a dividend policy for government owned companies. The policy is “being speciﬁcally looked at” by government, with consultation with related government-owned companies and semi-government institutions.
All ministries are reviewing all institutions and foundations that receive money from government in a structured or incidental manner to ensure the funds are being properly administrated and are in compliance with the subsidy
ordinance. The overall economic development of the country has been “elevated” by the Council of Ministers to a weekly discussion as part of the process to come to a long term economic plan, according to Wescot-Williams.
“Economic development is a matter of priority for the Council of Ministers.” That discussion is “running parallel to that
about the development of the National Development Plan (NDP).”
Bron: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten