Van Huffelen positive on ROB recommendations

Caretaker State Secretary of Kingdom Relations Alexandra van Huffelen is positive about the recommendations recently made by the Public Adminis­tration Council ROB, which found that the revision of the administrative and financial relations with the Caribbean Netherlands requires more than just a few technical ad­justments.

The state secretary sees the findings as support for the trajectory that the Dutch Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK is currently on with the public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, and other departments in The Hague in terms of improving administrative and financial relations.

Per request by Van Huffel­en, the ROB published an advisory study on island tasks and resources in the Carib­bean Netherlands follow­ing research conducted by IdeeVersa agency commis­sioned by BZK. IdeeVersa concluded that the islands do not receive enough structural funds for local tasks and ad­vised that local administra­tors should have more re­sponsibilities.

ROB agrees with IdeeVer­sa’s conclusions and also ad­vises that the public entities own responsibility should be promoted and that more consideration should be giv­en to the special position of the three islands.

They also find that financ­ing should be different and that efforts should be made towards a more consistent administrative and financial alignment.

Additionally, ROB recommends a more coordinating role for BZK. In practice, this appears to be difficult, which means that the islands are constantly dealing with a multitude of ministries as counterparts.

Though the ROB agrees with their findings, the ad­visory council argues that IdeeVersa’s recommenda­tions were based too much on the current situation. That is why the ROB recommends that the ministry makes plans past 2030.

The recommendations will be taken into account in the development of the im­proved Law Public Entities WolBES and the Law Public Entities Finances FinBES, which will be discussed next month in The Hague by both local and national represen­tatives.

The Daily Herald.

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