The Executive Council informs Island Council and the community actively about decisions

Recently the Acting State Representative Jan Helmond sent a letter to the Public Entity Saba regarding the publication of Executive Council decisions. The letter states that an action plan is demanded to improve the situation. Because of the letter the Public Entity Saba wants to stress it fully agrees with the importance of transparency and accountability and that the Executive Council actively informs the Island Council, publicizes decisions on the website, and is always open to requests for information. The Executive Council regrets that it seems not to be clear to Mr. Helmond what the actual situation on Saba is. And the Executive Council admits that in the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, there were backlogs in the flow of information. This was because of capacity reasons, while the Executive Council has always stressed the importance of transparency.

The Executive Council of the Public Entity Saba has weekly meetings. In those meetings, many decisions are made. Some of those decisions are directly beneficial to individual citizens or employees of the Public Entity. Those decisions cannot be communicated because of privacy reasons. Other decisions are about policies, new initiatives, implementation of policies, situations on the island, permits for businesses or buildings, or finance of the Public Entity. Those decisions are actively communicated with the Island Council and publicized on the website of the Public Entity on a weekly basis, mostly within a week after the meeting of the Executive Council. For decisions that have an impact on the island in the broader sense, separate press releases and publications on the website and posting on social media are initiated. The decision list is also an invitation to the Island Council to ask specific questions so that the Executive Council can provide more detailed information.

A good habit is that the Island Council and the general public and businesses are actively invited to participate in the early stages of policy development. Numerous meetings are organized. Recently for instance the Public Health Report, Digitalization, and Spatial Planning. When delegations of the national governments visit Saba, the Executive Council always pledges for meetings with members of the Island Council. Mostly those meetings with these delegations happen, so that the members of the Island Council can give input to new policies and national decisions and so that they can hear from the source what the intentions of the national government are.

The Executive Council organizes technical briefings for members of the Island Council on relevant topics. In the early stages of policy formulation civil servants who are experts on topics brief the members of the Island Council on legal frameworks and policy ideas and consult them on what direction members of the Island Council see as desirable for the island.

Meetings of the Island Council are open to the public and are live streamed online. Decisions by the Island Council are always publicized in press releases and on the website and through social media.

Of course, there is always room for improvement, and the document flow between the Executive Council, Island Council, and the general public can and must be improved. The Executive Council strongly supports transparency and at the same time has the obligation to guard privacy aspects, legitimate business confidentiality, and efficiency of the organization.

Currently, a digital application for decision-making is being implemented. In a next phase, expectedly early 2024, this application will also be available for informing the Island Council, for decision-making by the Island Council, and for informing the general public.

The Acting State Representative Jan Helmond has invited the Executive Council to draft a plan to further improve the transparency of decision making. This plan will build upon the new legal framework that came into practice since July 1st, 2023. The plan will be submitted before October 1st this year.


Saba’s PEP Fraction reacts to the Executive Council’s counterstatements about the lack of transparency.
Celebrating Saban youths during Youth Week 2023

One comment

  1. This is the Shameful and Unacceptable Response of Dictators on Saba to the Honorable Dutch State Representative Jan Helmond. The Wonderful People of Saba and the Wonderful Dutch People living on Saba as Residents are tired of this Johnson and Zagers Dictatorship: Governor Jonathan Johnson and Commissioner Bruce Zagers. Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. …
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Second Chamber, the Face of Democracy of the Mother Country the Netherlands need to step into this and Remove these Dictators who have been in office for more than 15 years. The Governor’s House does not belong to Jonathan Johnson or the Johnson Family (this is called Nepotism) ……The Government Building does not belong to Bruce Zagers: (This is called Dictatorship or Authoritarianism) I am certain that this is not the Democratic ideals of Netherlands, just currently the Government fill because of Democracy!
    Lack of Transparency is the shameful behavior of Dictators. The Executive Council of Saba is out of Line and out of Touch with the wonderful People of Saba. This Governor Jonathan Johnson and Commissioner Bruce Zagers have been in office more than 15 years and have reserved a spot for No Democracy on the island of Saba this is Wrong! This cannot go on! Enough is Enough! Term Limits have to be made to avoid Dictatorship!
    Distinguished island Council Members Saskia Levenstone and Hemmie Van Xanten are valuable in standing up for the People living on Saba! They are working for the people!
    The PEP party need to reach out to the Second Chamber in the Mother Country the Netherlands who are the Face of Democracy such as Attje Kuiken, Jesse Klever, Peter Omtzig, Marjolein Moorman; to prevent these two individuals Governor Jonathan Johnson and Commissioner Bruce Zagers to continue to rob children of their future and the progress of the People living on Saba by their inaction and failed policies and lack of transparency.

    In United States The governor holds the office for four years and can choose to run for reelection.
    the Governor is not eligible to serve more than eight years in any twelve-year period. This Democratic standard for Governor
    in the United States can be also upheld in the Netherlands Soley to prevent Governors from becoming Dictators in the respective Dutch Islands.
    Also in the Dutch Kingdom having the Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up the Standards of who is Eligible or Qualifies to Democratically run for the
    office of Governor. As Per the Executive Council Commissioners should be given only and 8 year Term for the same for the same forementioned reasons.
    I think also that Democracy serves best the very idea of it as that more citizens get to serve and participating by having a voice in the leadership of the country.
    This is the absolute beauty of Democracy participation, Inclusion and opportunity for all.

    Democracy is never a final achievement. It is a call to an untiring effort. Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put up a wall to keep our people in. There is an old saying that the course of civilization is a race between catastrophe and education.

    President John F. Kennedy
    Cristian Hassell Feliciano

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