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St. Maarten holds final discussions with Transparency International for Integrity Assessment


PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten is “very close” to making the necessary arrangements to have Transparency International visit St. Maarten to conduct an Integrity Assessment in the country, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams announced in a statement from her cabinet on Sunday.

A grant agreement is being finalised for the assessment, which Wescot-Williams said is very important for Country St. Maarten. She looks forward to finalising agreements that would enable Integrity International to conduct a country-wide assessment “so that we can know where we stand.”

She said that if St. Maarten’s image out there were that the island had lost all integrity, then she would like an assessment on where the country stands as it relates to integrity. “Transparency International has done this assessment for many countries, including The Netherlands, which also has issues. … The assessment looks at various institutions, including the media and the business sector.”

Wescot-Williams said efforts were being made to ensure integrity in all sectors of government. “The slogan of Government regarding integrity is that integrity at work starts with the individual and indeed it is about that realisation. … It is the way how we as community accept certain things.

“We started about creating that awareness, about researching who is most vulnerable and who would do certain things with regard to integrity rules. It is a learning programme; we have had courses for not only workers, but also for ministers and government officials and in fact I have insisted that the ministers participate in these discussions and courses,” she said.

“Integrity is by definition a collective noun and with that I mean that it is very broad and encompasses the handling of many issues regarding how we handle collectively and how we view certain standards and ethics. When we talk about integrity it is not only about making laws, but we need to collectively believe how certain things can be a breach of integrity or any law to that effect will be a paper tiger.”

Bron: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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