Commissioner for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba H.G.J.


Kralendijk, August 3, 2010

Progress report Ten weeks to go On December 7th 2009, I submitted my first progress report “Halverwege” (“Halfway”). With the date of October 10th 2010 approaching on which the beautiful islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba will become part of The Netherlands, I am presenting you my second progress report “Nog tien weken” (Ten weeks to go). I hope that this progress report will show that in the offices of the Dutch central government on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba great effort is put in by the “kwartiermakers” of the Ministries, the staff of the RSC and the members of my staff. We are doing so with the conviction that the European Netherlands and “our” three Caribbean islands can be of added value for each other.

It is with great pleasure that I would like to express my appreciation for the government officials and the civil servants of the three islands. Representatives of all the Dutch Departments are working on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba on a total of 96 projects, with the ambition to realize those within a short period of time. This puts unprecedented pressure on those who carry the political and public responsibility on the islands. Their cooperation and commitment are, after all, pivotal for the success of these projects. Nevertheless, we are constantly met in a constructive manner.

Division of Tasks

In April 2010 proved possible to reach an agreement with the Executive Council of Bonaire regarding the division of government tasks between the Island Government and the Netherlands and regarding some other issues. This was reflected in a policy agreement. The agreements reached with Bonaire concerning the division of tasks are in line with the agreements that were reached before with the Executive Councils of Sint Eustatius and Saba.

Legislation It was a good thing that the fall of the Cabinet in February 2010 did not cause delays in the effecting of the laws for the constitutional reform of the Netherlands Antilles. You were given consent by the Lower and Upper House (Tweede en Eerste Kamer) for the organic BES laws and the Consensus Kingdom Acts. After the summer recess still, several specific laws will be handled by Parliament. Time is becoming of the essence since it is the intention that these laws enter into force on January 1, 2011. This applies specifically to the fiscal legislation. Public island officials, entrepreneurs and individuals have expressed their concerns to me regarding the current lack of clarity in the fiscal field. Five months before the end of the year, it is unknown which fiscal regulations will have to be taken into account in the new year. I share these concerns and hope that the required clarity can be given soon. RSC The set up of the Regional Service Center, the organization of the Dutch government on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, is in full swing. The RSC renders services to Dutch departments in the fields of personnel, finance, ICT, facilities (including housing) and communication to the Dutch Departments. After all, considering the small scale of the three islands it is not efficient to implement these tasks separately per Ministry. The point of departure is that all departments utilize the RSC and that the costs will be passed on. Up till January 1st 2011, the generic costs will be for the account of the Ministry of The Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK). After that, costs will be passed on based on an allocation formula. Based on a product and service catalogue, the RSC will reach service level agreements with the Departments. The RSC will be directed by BZK, while the other Ministries – associated in a council of principals – will have an advising role.


The RSC will become the employer of all Kingdom civil servants on the islands of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius. In total this covers about 600 full-time placements for which the Departments have prepared the so- called organization and staff establishment reports. The unions have assented to these reports and the departments have been working on the further execution. From the country Netherlands Antilles and the three islands about 400 civil servants will be transferring, who will be appointed as BES civil servants of the RSC as per October 10, 2010. A recruitment campaign has been started to fill the remaining (circa 200) vacant positions also as per transition date. The recruitment of new staff is especially aimed at individuals who reside in the Netherlands Antilles or were born here and currently live in the Netherlands. It has become evident that it’s not easy to find suitable candidates for the vacant positions, albeit because the build-up of the Dutch government should not be at the expense of the staffing of the island governments.

The bigger departmental units will get and/or keep their own housing on the three islands. One can think of e.g. the tax authority, police, fire department and customs. Smaller departmental units will most likely be accommodated in the RSC – offices. This will be the case particularly on Sint Eustatius and Saba. On Bonaire the RSC office space is too small to accommodate all staff members. With the rental of additional space, the required space has been provided for the current year. This summer still, the mid-term housing needs and requirements and how to best address these will be determined.

On Sint Eustatius the RSC office capacity will be expanded to 18 workstations. Since the current office is for temporary purposes, the Governmental Buildings Agency (Rijksgebouwendienst) is looking into long term options. On Saba recently, a new building has become available with a total of 15 workstations, the Antique Inn. This characteristic building will – hopefully – still be festively inaugurated by you this month (August).

Communication Within the RSC staff a communication team of 4 individuals has recently started under management of a “kwartiermaker”. The “kwartiermaker” has

been temporarily posted by the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat – V&W-), the remaining workers have been locally recruited. The latter enables the RSC to communicate with knowledge and understanding of the local target groups. The team coordinates the various communications efforts on the three islands. The objective is to inform the island residents about the upcoming changes and to establish a correct and coherent image of the Dutch government. The media will be actively approached and through purchase of editorial space in papers and on radio, television and cable news (Saba) the public will be informed. Communication from the RSC is neutral in tone and local in nature (per island), in which case where possible cooperation with third parties will be pursued. During the last few months, information sessions, that were broadcasted directly via radio and tv, were regularly organized for the people of the three islands. Upon request of entrepreneurs, I have also organized information sessions for their personnel. Brochures on specific subject matters have been made and distributed. Apart from that, door-to-door information booklets were distributed. All communication took place in Dutch, Papiamentu and English. . Representative of the Kingdom As per transition date the temporary position of Commissioner for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba will, based on the “Wet openbare lichamen Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba” (The law on public entities Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) (WolBES), transition into the position of Representative of the Kingdom for the public entities Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The Kingdom Representative constitutes the governmental link between Dutch Government and the public entities and is a governmental body with legal responsibilities that have been partially mentioned in the WolBES.

He stimulates the collaboration between the kingdom civil servants of the various Departments responsible for the assessment of the decisions made by public entities, among others concerning the appointment, suspension and dismissal of the island civil servants. Annulment of decrees is executed by the Minister of BZK, upon recommendation of the Kingdom Representative.

Furthermore, some of the island ordinances will have to be approved by the Kingdom Representative before entering into force. In case of negligence of responsibilities the Kingdom Representative may substitute the Executive Council or Lieutenant Governor. Except for those responsibilities reserved for the Minister of BZK, the Kingdom Representative will become the manager of the new police corps and the new fire brigade of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. In case of calamity and crisis management, the Kingdom Representative is given a coordinating role in the relief effort and can request assistance from the police or military.

In order to be able to execute these tasks too, the staffing for the support of the Kingdom Representative will consist of one secretary and four policy officials. In relation to my current staff this entails an expansion with two policy officials. For the time being the Kingdom Representative and his staff will remain housed in the same building as the RSC, but are independently positioned though. He will make use of the RSC services for the business and executive operations. Just like in my first progress report, I can inform you that the collaboration with the Directorate of Kingdom Affairs has progressed smoothly. Exchange of information and coordination take place almost on a daily basis. The same exchange of information and coordination occurs – albeit less frequently – with other BZK units, the Financial Supervision Board and the Dutch Representative in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Anticipating on the transition date, the responsibilities of the latter regarding BZK-collaboration programs on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba have already been transferred to me.

Bookmark Hereinafter I will give you the current status per Ministry. Beforehand I will elaborate on a number of subject matters that may have your special attention.

Free benefits


The level of the free benefits to the three public entities has been discussed with the three Executive Councils. The calculations used are based on the island budgets for the year 2009. During these discussions, the islands among others pointed out that no or else insufficient expenses were budgeted for the necessary maintenance of capital goods. As a reaction it was promised to look into the possibility of the Netherlands making extra financial means available for this purpose. As conditions set forward it was mentioned that good long term maintenance plans should be in place and that the need for additional funds must also reflect from the budget reviews of the three islands.

Furthermore, during the discussions on the free benefits it was mentioned by the islands that at shifting of the budgets, based on the agreed upon assignment of tasks, some inadequacies may have occurred. The review of the budgets also aims to provide clarity on this matter

This review will cover expenses as well as income that currently are not or not sufficiently processed in the budget, as well as expenses and income that in time will not or will not in the same measure belong in the budget any more. The aim is to finalize the activities in September. After discussing the draft report with the Executive Councils, the report will presented to you.

Abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage By means of amendment by the Lower House it has been decided to also introduce the Dutch legislation on abortion, euthanasia and marriage between individuals of the same sex shortly – within one c.q. two years after the transition date – on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. A transition period of five years was proposed by the government, as was also discussed with the island governments. The island governments have clearly indicated that they consider the amendment a deviation from agreements reached on delicate issues.

At the beginning of July the Director of Kingdom Affairs and I consulted with the Executive Councils, at which time factual information was exchanged and the options of careful implementation were examined. To this end various proposals were discussed, like conducting baseline studies

of the current practice, consulting with the professionals in the field on the islands and the engagement of so-called focus groups. These proposals will be further outlined after which implementation will be executed in close consultation with the Executive Councils.

Waste water purification on Bonaire The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (Ministerie van Volkshuisvesting, Ruimtelijke Ordening en Milieubeheer- VROM) has – after decision making by the Bonaire Executive Council – ordered the construction, still this year, of a temporary waste water purification system. The waste waters from the hotels in the coastal area will be delivered by vacuum trucks. The purification will then take place by aerating and by means of active silt, at which an extra phase has been built in to decrease the level of nitrogen. The purified water will be reused for the cultivation of fast growing feed crops for goats. The plan for the temporary waste water purification system has been prepared by Bonaire and will be financed by the Ministries of BZK and VROM. The installation will become island property and will be managed by the Water and Electricity Company (Water en Electriciteitsbedrijf -WEB) in Bonaire.

With the temporary waste water purification system we can bridge the period till the inauguration of a still to be installed sewage system in the coastal area and a still to be built permanent sewage water purification installation (rzi). The capacity of this rzi – which will be financed by the EU and the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat - V en W) – will be double that of the temporary installation. The available funds are insufficient to link all Bonaire neighborhoods but the island government has indicated it will use European grants to be able to link some additional neighborhoods. The Amsterdam Foundation “Werel Waternet” (Water Board of Amstel, Gooi and Vecht and the municipality of Amsterdam) will support the WEB with the set up of a management organization for the rzi and the preparation of cost and rate calculations. V&W and VROM will facilitate Bonaire with the set up of a project organization for the regulation, monitoring and communication.


Ministry of Finance Tax Authority The organization of the BES Tax Authority includes 92 full time placements including the 44 full time equivalents from customs. The department has managed to eliminate the existing (heavy) backlogs in levy, inspection and collection of taxes and to implement efficiency improvements. The staff is working and has worked hard to have the organization and automation up to speed by transition date. Possibilities of collaboration with the island organizations have been explored and utilized. On Sint Eustatius and Saba, offices have been opened and staff recruited and trained. On Bonaire a relatively large scale central new building is being realized. On each island facilities are maintained or created and improvements have been implemented at the airports for customs. From the transition date till January 1st 2011, the “kwartiermaker” will act as the deputy Head of the BES Tax Authority, after which he will be succeeded by a to be (locally) recruited department Head.

The Tax Authority on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba faced a big challenge and has handled this in an admirable manner. For this I have expressed my appreciation to the management of the department. At said occasion I have also expressed my gratitude for the general support the Tax Authority has given to the set up of the RSC.

As mentioned before, the delayed political decision making about the new fiscal regime for the BES islands poses a risk. Apart from the fact that the requested clarity cannot be provided to citizens and entrepreneurs, time is becoming of the essence for the adjustment of the work processes and automation.

Introduction of the dollar Upon request of the Ministry of Finance, the Dutch Central Bank (de Nederlandsche Bank -DNB) will organize the transition to the dollar as legal currency per January 1, 2011. In the meantime, the consultation with the banks has led to the expectation that they will be able to adapt their automated systems on time. To also enable the so-called cash transition to go

smoothly, a “dollar support group” has been formed. For this purpose, an exchange scenario has been worked out, under management of the DNB, between the governments, utility companies, entrepreneurs and banks and implementation agreements have been made.

To avoid unjustified price hikes – the responsibility of the island governments – the Dutch Consumers’ Association (de Nederlandse Consumentenbond) has set up a “dollar monitor” and will instruct the association staff on the islands on the application thereof. The business community itself will introduce a “fair pricing code”. The participating entrepreneurs promise not to increase their prices in connection with the introduction of the dollar and will also make this known to their clients. The island government of Bonaire, in the meantime, has issued a double pricing ordinance enabling consumers to monitor the price developments in the months around January 1st 2011. Saba and Sint Eustatius will also issue such an ordinance.

Ministry of Economic Affairs

Energy The Ministry of Economic Affairs has made arrangements with Bonaire about the preparation of a plan for the improvement of the power grid and the contribution for the purpose of a strategic oil reserve on the island. On the latter consultations are still being held with Sint Eustatius and Saba.

In connection with the power supply on these two islands an investigation has been conducted upon instruction of the Ministry of Economic Affairs – and upon request of the island governments of Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba- on the alleged cross-subsidizing within power company GEBE. Based on the results of this investigation, the three island councils involved and GEBE can commence result oriented consultation. In line with this investigation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has offered to help in obtaining clarity (consensus) about the property relationships within GEBE. Furthermore, the Ministry has made commitments on the execution of research on the practical possibilities of generation of geothermal energy

(Saba) and the execution of a feasibility study on the placing of a hurricane proof wind turbine (Sint Eustatius). . Market mechanism The intended research on the market mechanism on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba will concentrate on the structural characteristics that form the basis of the pricing. On the mid-term these findings will be linked to the data the CBS is currently gathering in connection with the price level measurement on the islands.

The CBS in the Netherlands has taken the necessary steps to take over the tasks of the CBS of the Netherlands Antilles (in adjusted form) and the current CBS – staff in Bonaire per transition date.

Upon initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, a plan has been prepared to upgrade and modernize the Bonaire Chamber of Commerce, set up a joint Chamber of Commerce for Sint Eustatius and Saba and update the Commercial Registry on the three islands. It is the intention that the Chambers of Commerce will give information on entrepreneurship and innovation and become a primary subsidy counter for the Economic Affairs policy instruments for (international) business and innovation. The Chambers will also help mobilize local knowledge for innovative entrepreneurs and promote cooperation between small and medium sized businesses.

The Ministry has finalized the consultation with the Executive Councils on the BES Law on the establishment of companies. After the transition, decisions on applications by entrepreneurs or businesses for a business license can only be made, based on economic grounds. With regard to telecommunications, Economic Affairs had research conducted and agreements will be made on the continuity of inspection, supervision and policy activities. On the matter of mail delivery, the Ministry of Economic Affairs also had research done and agreements will be


made on the concession for mail delivery on the three islands after October 10th. After a baseline study of the meteorological infrastructure is conducted, the necessary agreements will be made with the Curacao Weights and Measures Agency (IJkwezen) about continuation of their activities on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba after the transition. In time, training of meteorological staff and the provision of meteorological equipment may follow.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs will procure that the tourism boards of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba receive support to obtain insight in the developments on the Dutch vacation market, the further image improvement of the islands and the development of a strategic plan.

Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM)

The Ministry of VROM has strongly simplified the legislation on construction, living, spatial planning and environmental management and adjusted it to the BES –islands. The result – the draft-legislative proposal VROM BES – has been presented to the Executive Councils for reaction. This law also offers the basis for the drafting of a BES – Construction Decree. For the realization of this governmental decree (Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur - AMvB) the island governments, departments for construction and residence inspection and the local architects and contractors will be consulted. The intention is to have the AMvB enter into force by mid 2011. The housing corporation Woonlinie from Zaltbommel, is making an effort to realize construction projects on Sint Eustatius and Saba, in cooperation with the local housing corporations and Executive Councils. Woonlinie is prepared to cover part of the financing. Besides, on Saba additional Dutch subsidy funds (SEI) are applied. Woonlinie is also prepared to post staff members for a couple of months at its counterpart corporations on the islands to support the organizational development and management. For various reasons, concrete results have not yet been realized.


As mentioned in my first progress report, the local housing corporation on Bonaire, FCB, rejected the offer of the (big) Dutch housing corporation Vestia last year. In June 2010 FCB signed a collaboration agreement with housing corporation Aert Swaens from Veldhoven. In Bonaire there are also Dutch subsidy funds (SEI) for social housing available. Up till now, concrete results have not been realized on Bonaire either.

From the perspective of public housing, it is important that the social rental sector remain available for low income individuals on the islands. The tool that could serve this purpose would be a housing ordinance. In the proposed VROM-BES-law a basis for this has been included. A housing ordinance on islands like Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba is a matter of a tailor made approach, tailored to the local circumstances and possibilities. VROM (WWI) has found the former director of the Stichting Experimenten Volkshuisvesting willing to advise, if desired, on the contents of a suitable housing ordinance on one or more of the three islands. If the local governments indicate they would appreciate such advice, VROM will hire him.

Both Bonaire and Sint Eustatius are preparing a spatial planning development plan (zoning plan) with Dutch subsidy funds. Bonaire indicated that the plan aims to safeguard the values, qualities and identity of Bonaire and to incorporate the new developments in the fields of living, working and recreation on Bonaire in a positive way. For the purposes of the spatial planning development plan, Bonaire previously had an island master plan prepared. Subsequently a strategic environmental evaluation was done in which the environmental effects of the new developments were described. The Executive Council wants to involve the people of the island in the spatial development plan –that has been brought to procedure in the meantime-. In that respect information was given, two hearings were recently held and interested parties were given the opportunity to react in writing on the plan. The intention is to adopt the spatial development plan, whether adjusted or not, still before the transition date. Prior to the spatial development plan, the Executive Council of Sint Eustatius had a strategic plan prepared, on which interested citizens and

businesses reacted. The next step, in this case also, is to have a spatial development plan prepared by the same Dutch firm that prepared the Bonaire spatial development plan. The intention is to have this plan enter into force at the latest by December 9, 2010, the date on which the term of the aforementioned preparation decree expires.

On Saba recently the Urban Development and Planning Ordinance was discussed by the Island Council. This ordinance is the basis for the drafting of a preparation decree. After this, the process to make a development plan will be started. Such a plan is also of importance to Saba, but because construction costs are high on this island – in part due to of the difficult terrain- regulation is less urgent than on the other two islands.

Together with the island governments of Sint Eustatius and Saba, the VROM has sought possibilities to improve the processing of waste products on the islands. Both islands are working with Dutch and – in the case of Saba – European subsidies towards the clean-up of the existing wastelands, the separation of waste products and the transportation of part of the waste to the Netherlands via Sint Maarten. On Sint Eustatius the construction of a potable water grid has been tendered. Before the end of the year, the works shall begin. The “kwartiermaker”/ inspector of the Ministry of VROM has been approached, on behalf of the Bonaire Executive Council, for the position of interim-director supervision and enforcement. The public system in Bonaire is being reorganized and the Executive Council will recruit transition managers for the set up of the new to be established directorates. The hiring of the “kwartiermaker” by Bonaire could be of added value for both parties. E.g. I imagine the joint preparation of enforcement programs and trajectories for education, schooling and training. As a result of this collaboration an effective and efficient execution in the fields of supervision and enforcement can be realized, fitting the scale of Bonaire.

Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food quality


As a co-initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (Ministerie van Landbouw, Natuur and Voedselkwaliteit- LNV) – assisted herewith by the IMARES institute of the University of Wageningen- two conferences were held in Bonaire in December 2009 and June 2010 as a preparation of a management plan for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This plan will be aimed at the conservation of the rich marine biodiversity and sustainable fishery. Special attention will be given to the Saba Bank while pursuing the introduction of a complete anchor ban. The Ministry of V & W in collaboration with the Coast Guard is taking preparatory measures for the management of the EEZ. It is the intention that these activities also be executed in part by the islands.

Upon request of LNV, IMARES on Bonaire in collaboration with the environmental conservation organization STINAPA and the island agency for spatial planning and management (DROB) has researched the threats to the Lac Cai, a unique natural area with mangroves, see weed and coral reefs. Also based on research data, an action plan will be prepared.

Ministry of Defense Since the year 2005, The Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary (De Koninklijke Marechaussee – KMar) supports customs at the Bonaire airport and since the year 2009 the police on the three islands. Starting from the transition date the Caribbean brigade unit BES-islands of the KMar, will be responsible for the border control. This department will mostly be manned with local staff and complemented with KMar-military staff. With this personnel mix and an extensive schooling- and training program, the Military Constabulary wants to bring the quality of the border control to a higher level and subsequently maintain this level. Collaboration with customs will be intensive to achieve as efficient a border crossing as possible.

Ministry of Youth and Family For each of the three islands a tailor made plan has been made including the elements of a Youth and Family Center, possibilities for positive leisure activities, youth care and youth protection. During the year 23 additional

staff members, as much as possible with an Antillean background, were recruited for the implementation of the plans.

As per transition date, the three Courts of Guardiansip (Voogdijraden) on the BES-islands will be clustered to one Court of Guardianship and housed at the RSC. To be able to execute the legal responsibilities properly, the staffing of the Court of Guardianship will be expanded and the work processes will be professionalized.

In the meantime, on both Saba and Sint Eustatius a Youth and Family Center has been opened, in which (due to the small scale) almost all youth functions are combined. Apart from serving as a workstation for the staff, the centers also serve as living room type walk-in facilities where parents and youngsters can come with their questions. The next step is to further develop and anchor the services in the communities. Currently, on Bonaire as well a Youth and Family Center is being developed in cooperation with the island government for which a suitable building has become available. Four local organizations will cluster their services there under management of an independent project manager.

In order to further promote positive leisure activities, Young Bonaire Foundation has received a grant to further develop both the location and the range of after school activities offered. On Sint Eustatius and Saba too, Youth and Family is investing in the expansion of the options for positive leisure activities.

The Bonaire youth care is housed in one building together with Guia di Famia Bonaire. In the meantime, an ambulant help providing team is operational and a first building has been rented for the accommodation of a family substitution home. The recruitment of the pedagogic staff and family home parents has been started up. To work from one methodology on the three islands, “Triple P” will be implemented everywhere, an internationally proven effective approach to educational support.


Bonaire will receive a direct labor market impulse by enabling 20 local youth workers to further school themselves through dual learning towards HBO-level in social – pedagogic help services. This project will be executed by the Christelijke Hoogeschool Ede. Ministry of Justice Due to the temporary investment stop on Bonaire, the Custodial Institutions Service (Dienst Justitiele Inrichtingen – DJI) has experienced heavy delays. Since April 2010, firm efforts have been made to work off the back log as much as possible and to finalize the capacity increase of the existing House of Detention (Huis van Bewaring) still around the transition date. During this expansion, capacity shall be realized for detainees as well. The local recruitment, selection and training of additional staff is in full swing. However, it is expected that it will still be necessary to send a fifth shift of DJI-staff from the Netherlands to Bonaire this year.

In the meantime, the Government Buildings Agency and DJI have already taken the preparatory measures for the new to be built penitentiary facilities on Bonaire and Sint Eustatius. According to current insight, these will be realized at the earliest in the course of 2013. The take-over by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Immigratieen Naturalisatiedienst – IND) of the responsibilities concerning the admittance of individuals on the island, is expected to go smoothly. The IND has prepared a comprehensive training program for the staff that will transfer with that responsibility In the new situation, the IND will make the decisions regarding admittance and expulsion on behalf of the Dutch Minister of Justice. Aliens need to apply for an authorization for temporary residence (MVV) in their own country. The number of residence objectives for which admittance is requested, has been increased. Re-socialization responsibilities are currently executed only in Bonaire and by the Bonaire Probation and Justiciable care Foundation (Stichting Reclassering and Justitiabelenzorg - SRJB). In the past few years this foundation was supported by the Netherlands Probation and After-Care

Foundation (Stichting Reclassering Nederland -SRN) during an improvement process. With 2,5 full time placements the re-socialization efforts are provided for the execution of advice, guidance, supervision and the execution of community service orders. In part, for the purpose of, the expansion of the activities to Sint Eustatius and Saba, the articles of incorporation and the management structure of the SRJB are currently being reviewed and a cooperation covenant with the SRN is being prepared. For the execution of the re-socialization tasks on these islands a part time staff member will be recruited.

Upon request of the Netherlands, the Court has already been expressly present on the BES-islands. In principle, cases proceeding from Bonaire will be heard in Bonaire. On Statia and Saba as well, a major part of the cases form these islands is handled there. For Bonaire, the Joint Court has chosen to continually station a judge from Curaçao for a period of one year. If necessary, other judges will be flown in. As per transition date the BES Public Prosecution Department (Openbaar Ministerie BES) will come into being. Together with the Curaçao and Sint Maarten Public Prosecutor Offices, the BES will have one common Public Prosecutor. The intention is to have the Bonaire Public Prosecution Department, reinforced with a district attorney and two public prosecutor office’s secretaries at the latest by January 1, 2011. On behalf of Sint Eustatius and Saba 0,5 full time equivalent district attorney will be applied, with post Sint Maarten. This official will be present bon the two islands on a weekly basis. On behalf of the penal chain on the three islands, a forensic adviser has been stationed on Bonaire. Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Police On July 1st 2010 a new police chief has started at the Bonaire Police Corps, who will also act as the “kwartiermaker” for the to be established BES Police corps. Because four of the six members of the Bonaire management team are making use of the “VUT-regeling”, temporary reinforcement of the corps management is necessary. Only then, the police chief will be able to concentrate on the build-up of a new corps. With support of the RSC a

regional recruitment campaign for the police was started at the beginning of July. After completion of the selection process it will be clear to what measure the corps may still be understaffed. It is expected that temporary support from the Netherlands will be required for the new corps in order to guarantee public order and safety.

Fire Department The recruitment of a general Head for the new BES Fire Departments has been started. In anticipating of the transition date, the fire brigades of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius have enabled their staff to acquire the required aircraft firefighting diploma. The Governments Buildings Agency has been requested to take care of the management and maintenance of the fire department buildings on the three islands. For Bonaire the procedure has been started to realize a new fire department building which will possibly be ready in 2012. It is being researched if a temporary provision is required in the interim. At the same time a procedure has been started for Bonaire for the purchase of a new crash tender. In this case the Ministry of Defense is being consulted on the possibility of a temporary provision from the Netherlands.

The new multi disciplinary communications rooms for police, fire department and ambulance is under development. On Bonaire an extra broadcast installation has been placed for better connection with the emergency services. On Bonaire and Sint Eustatius new communications room equipment has been installed. It is expected that this equipment can be installed on Saba soon. The recruitment of communications room staff has been started.

Government The “kwartiermaker” government supports the island governments with the implementation of the WolBES, the FinBes and the Elections Act (Kieswet). Based on the model fiscal ordinances drafted (and explained) by the VNG, the Island Councils can start drafting the ordinances for the island taxes they wish to introduce. For the levy and collection of these taxes, completely updated registries are required of the objects (buildings and installations)


and subjects (individuals) on the islands. The work necessary for this has been done for the account of BZK and is currently in a finalizing phase.

The island governments have already requested the VNG for model ordinances on the other subject matters for which they need to draft ordinances based on the WolBES. Consultations are taking place with the island governments about other supporting activities on behalf of the implementation of namely the WolBES. At the establishment of the new public entities, the ceremonial aspects are also of importance. Bonaire and Sint Eustatius have decided to preserve their current island coats of arms in the new constellation. Saba is expected to make a similar decision shortly. The Netherlands will handle the production of the chains of office for the Lieutenant Governors. Furthermore, new IDcards will be introduced as per transition date.

Pensions On February 17th the Foundation BES Pension fund (Stichting BES Pensioenfonds) was founded. As per transition date, the fund will, as a branch pension fund, start executing the pension plans of the employees in the branches of government, education, care and youth and family on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The preparations are well under way and good progress has been booked. Pension and VUT-plans (Early Retirement Plans) have been agreed upon with the unions. For the pensions it has been agreed that a shift will be made from an end wage scheme to a middle wage scheme and that wage indexation will be conditional. The content of the pension plan will be worked out in pension scheme rules and regulations. The existing VUT-plan (Easly Retirement Plan) has been abolished after which a limited and brief transition right has been agreed upon.

For the execution of the pension scheme the Dutch company Syntrus Achmea has been chosen. The required rules and regulations have been and /or are currently being developed. The fund is consulting with the DNB regarding the manner in which compliance with this supervisory body’s requirements can be achieved. Consultation with the APNA will have to lead to a division of assets in which case the pension obligations and assets of


this fund shall be divided between the new entities Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the BES-islands.. On Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba a great number of information sessions have been held, informing the future participants in the pension fund about the new pension plan.

Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management Per transition date the Dutch system following the minimum international safety norms of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be introduced for the airports of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. A master plan has been prepared to further develop the Bonaire airport and have it comply with these ICAO-norms. Minister Eurlings has given the green light to start the renovations of this airport’s runway for the account of the V & W. It is expected that the to be selected contractor will start the works around January 1, 2011. Also for the airports of Sint Eustatius and Saba, master plans are being prepared, of which the first draft-versions are already completed.

For the continuity of the air traffic and meteorological service for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba the Ministry is negotiating with the Antillean departments NAATC and MDNA & A. The latter will be appointed to provide the meteorological and seismological services on the three islands. In order to realize this, regulation is being developed and collaboration agreements will be established with the KNMI. In this respect further arrangements will be made about the hurricane prediction and the implementation of a hurricane monitoring system.

In view of the continuity of the aerial access of Sint Eustatius and Saba a market analysis has been conducted. For this purpose the effects of the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles on the airline Winair are also examined.

For the execution of the inspections of foreign ships and the supervision of the local shipping, four shipping inspectors will be appointed. The local

recruitment of three inspectors is almost completed. They will be trained in the Netherlands and will start after the transition date on Bonaire and Sint Eustatius. The fourth position will be filled on a rotation basis by an experienced shipping inspector of V&W. Sint Eustatius and Saba have chosen to use a big part of the available SEIfunds for the maintenance of and some adjustments to the seaports. The Ministry of V&W assists herewith through the “kwartiermaker” and the directorates in The Hague. The preparations for the execution of the works will be completed by the islands in collaboration with USONA. The public tender for the port of Saba already took place.

The analysis by Royal Haskoning on the best location for a new freight port in Bonaire has been finalized. The actual construction of the port will require an amount of about 15 million Euro.

The transportation of hazardous materials over land has been analyzed. Based on that, suitable regulation is now being prepared. For the short term, trainings and awareness campaigns are being prepared.

By experts of the municipality of Breda, supported by V&W, a master plan traffic safety is being prepared for Bonaire.

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

Education improvement program Agreements have been made with the island representatives about the points of departure for an improvement plan for education. The Netherlands has incidentally made extra funds available, with which a number of improvement actions could already be realized in 2009 and The challenges in the educational field are big. Test results on reading and math show that students in the lower grades (groups 3 and 4) of the “funderend onderwijs” Foundation Based Education schools were pretty close to the Dutch level, but that the higher grades (groups 7 and 8) still are


well behind on this level. The reason is that the higher grades had arrears that needed to be worked off.

The inspection report that was published in 2008, estimated the education back log on math at the FO-schools of the BES-islands, in comparison with the Netherlands, on a minimum of three school years. In the meantime one school year has passed and at many schools the arrears still are about a year and a half to two years. This means these schools have caught up on about half of the arrears in one year’s time.

The results on the tests taken at the three schools of secondary education (VO) have decreased, not painting a reassuring picture of the measure in which students experience a favorable development. For most subject matters, the schools have not yet been able to catch up on the arrears.

In addition to the free school books for the VO and secondary vocational education (secundair beroepsonderwijs – SBO), the schools for FO, VO and SBO were allowed to purchase remedial material for reading and math. This material was applied by the schools to catch up on the arrears. At the same time the schools were provided with additional course materials, such as course methods, reading books, dictionaries and land maps.

For the re-enforcement of the quality of the student care, two teachers of each school on the three islands have followed a specialized training as internal guidance counselor. A separate provision will be created for the necessary specialized expertise outside the schools: an expertise center for educational care. On each of the three islands a process manager has been hired with the instruction to establish and set up an expertise center, in cooperation with Youth and Family. Upon request of the Ministry, the National Pedagogic Centers (Landelijke Pedagogische Centra) advise the schools on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba about the continued development of their school development plans. In these plans, the schools include the ways in which they would like to improve the quality of education in the coming years. Beside an advice on the necessary improvement actions, the education demands that the school boards and

school managers have are mapped in view of the transition to the Dutch educational system.

In good consultation with the three Executive Councils and the schools involved, programs have been prepared to use the extra funds for the improvement of school buildings, for the most urgent needs. As a consequence, on each island various construction projects are in preparation. The most important ones being: On Bonaire: new construction of a broad school for “funderend onderwijs” with neighborhood facilities; new construction of a school for HAVO/VWO higher grades; urgent facilities for the instruction class rooms of the Scholengemeenschap Bonaire. On Sint Eustatius: renovation of the Golden Rock School; expansion of the Bethel Methodist School (already under execution). On Saba: rebuilding of a former commercial building to technical instruction classrooms for the Saba Comprehensive School.

During a visit of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) in June 2010, it was agreed that a master plan for the accommodation of education would be prepared on short term. The point of departure is that within five years, all schools will be brought to an acceptable level based on Dutch standards and that OCW together with the island governments will make the effort to make the necessary funds for this available. In these plans, the executing organization and the (future) maintenance will be included. Introduction Dutch educational system It was agreed with the island governments that the Dutch educational system will be the point of departure at the introduction of a new educational system on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The specific circumstances on the BESislands could lead to an adjusted arrangement. Staff members of the OCW audit department have determined the current financial situation at each school, together with the financial departments of the island governments and school boards. Based on this among others, the financing for the schools per January 1st 2011 will be determined this month (August).


To be able to cover the costs properly, a project manager implementation financing has been hired. This official of the Education Execution Service (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs – DUO) will support schools locally with the improvement and development of their operations. He will also provide information on the new education legislation and regulation in general and the way the defrayal will be implemented in particular.

The direct financing of the schools by OCW will bring many changes for the school administrations. OCW has requested Administratiekantoor Onderwijs Service Groep Arnhem to conduct an orientation analysis this month (August) on everything required for the set up of an administrative office on the BES-islands. Based on the results, the school boards can decide whether – and if so, how – they wish to set up an administrative office.

Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports ( Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport -VWS) wishes to gradually allow the level of healthcare on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba grow to that in the European part of the Netherlands. Anticipating the transition date, projects have been started up to improve the range of care services offered on the three islands. Per January 1st 2011, the Ministry will introduce the BEShealth insurance, which grants all legal citizens of the three islands equal right to medical and long term care.

Improvement of healthcare range Projects in this field cover both the organization and quality of the healthcare. In the area of organization, the privatization of the general practitioners on Bonaire is supported. On Sint Eustatius and Saba, foundations have been established in which as per January 1sy 2011, the island hospitals will be incorporated. It is the intention that the institutions for nursing and care follow suit, whilst beside that the primary care, addiction care and the Youth and Family centers be given a place in this respect. If they so wish, the islands could also

In the meantime, in the field of quality, new ambulances have become operational on all three islands. The training of the staff is being worked on. The increase of the number of basic specialties in the Bonaire hospital demands time. The collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Academisch Medisch Centrum Universiteit van Amsterdam, is shaped through the incorporation of a legal entity, in which among others the contract based purchase of basic specialty care will be arranged. This refers to the specialties of internal medicine, surgery, anesthetics, gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. The expectation is that around October 10 the first medical specialist will be working in the Bonaire hospital as “kwartiermaker” and that in the course of a year the other specialists will gradually become available. Also the rendering of dialysis facilities on Bonaire is being worked on. Dialysis-patients have set up a patient association to serve their interests. After the choice has been made for a dialysis relief center, a dialysis center will be set up in the Bonaire hospital. At the same time the possibility of home dialysis will be included.

For the super specialized care, agreements will be made with a big hospital in the vicinity of Bonaire and in the vicinity of Sint Eustatius and Saba. In this case the execution of the acute care will be included, to be preferably executed by the same two hospitals. Linked to this, agreements will be made on the emergency transportation. The choice for a fixed wing plane or and/or a helicopter transport depends on the choice of hospital. At the beginning of August a number of hospitals will be inspected and evaluated to determine which one would be most suitable. The aim is to subsequently make agreements that can be made operational shortly after the transition date. For the improvement of the pharmaceutical care on the islands, it is the aim to increase efficiency possibly due to improvement (and lowering of purchase costs and organization of the medicine supplies. In this case the change in prescriptive behavior of the doctors is of importance. .

Improvement of the medical infrastructure with regards to buildings and equipments is mostly part of the quality projects. The realization of the plans already worked out for that purpose, will gradually take shape starting 2011 as part of the regular operations of the various care institutions. The purchase of image carrying equipment which cannot endure postponement will be executed with preference.

BES Health Insurance Per January 1st 2011 the current public and private health care insurances will be replaced by one public insurance for medical and AWBZ-care. The regulation for the BES-Health care insurance is still being prepared by VWS. The to be established BES Health Insurance office will be responsible for the execution. Prompt finalization of the regulations and of the decision making by the Council of Ministers is necessary to ensure the timely purchase of care and the proper information of the insured, care providers and other interested parties by the Health Insurance office. As a result of the delay with the tender for the ICT-support, the design of the work processes and the ICT-support thereof at the Health Care office will first be in order by mid 2011. At least during the first quarter of that year, there will therefore be mention of manual processing and control of information, which of course brings risks for the management and service provision. An execution scenario aimed at the limitation of the risks is being worked on.

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment

In April 2010 the Executive Councils of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba and the Minister of SZW agreed on the level of the minimum wage and the benefits linked to it. The joint objective is to decrease the difference between the height of the benefits and the desired level of the needs of existence based on the economic capacity and development. The monthly AOV – benefit will increase on January 1, 2011 from ANG 800 to ANG 900, to be increased with a price compensation over 2010. The pension qualification age will go up to 65 years during the period till 2021.

In the new situation, the welfare benefit has been established in the form of a legal regulation, with objectified allowances for independent living, the first three children, being married or living together and full and permanent incapacity to work. When determining the height of the welfare benefit, the possibility of additional earnings up to the amount of the minimum wage of ANG 1,260 per month was taken into account.

Welfare Currently the attention of SZW is aimed at the development of work processes, the to be applied automation system, the selection and appointment of staff and lastly the training policy. As it currently seems, the current welfare staff of Bonaire and Saba will transfer to the RSC (Sint Eustatius currently does not have a welfare staff member). In good consultation with the island governments –whose role as welfare provider will transfer to SZW per October 10th - the transfer of the ongoing welfare database is being worked on. This will require some work. For all parties involved, the data required to determine the right to welfare must be established and evaluated. At the same time the parties involved should be informed about the transition from island to RSC and about their new rights and duties. On Saba and Sint Eustatius, it concerns relatively small numbers of people (a few dozen) but the situation of the persons involved has not been or is not sufficiently documented. Further research is required to be able to assess the right on the new welfare benefit. On Bonaire the situation of the parties involved is pretty well documented, but the evaluation of the right to a benefit has to be done for big number of people (circa 300). The available personnel capacity for these purposes is limited (because it’s not tuned to the work peak of the take-over), however although part of the time of the staff must be utilized to follow trainings.

The task of labor mediation and the development of job programs have been assigned to the islands, which do not have an adequate functional system for this purpose yet. However, since this an important condition for the lawful and efficient granting of welfare and work permits, SZW has offered support to the islands. In this respect a pilot was started on Bonaire in cooperation

with two local organizations (Forma and Mangazina di Rei) aimed at individuals with a big interval from the labor market.

Work permits In the governmental agreement with Bonaire, specific attention was given to the execution of the work permit regulation in connection with the division of tasks. The point of departure is that per January 1, 2012 this task will be executed by mandate by the island of Bonaire unless the experiences gained advise against it. Currently a process description and work instructions are being worked on. An automation module that grants connection to the Foreign Management System as applied by the IND, is also being worked on. In consultation with the Civil Registry department of the island, a joint front office will be set up. . Inspections On Bonaire, the inspection tasks in the fields of security, illegal labor, minimum wage and housing of aliens will be executed after the transition date by inspectors that SZW will take over from the island. For Sint Eustatius and Saba an inspector will be hired. The intention is to start with a good information campaign for the two most relevant sectors, namely construction and the hospitality industry. Inspections can follow after this information campaign. The inspectors will be granted extraordinary investigative authority for the making of the reports and will have to be trained both content- and skill-wise. The inspection of oil terminals is of a more specialized nature and will be executed from the Netherlands. ***Attention: This version of the “progress peport: ten more weeks” in English is only an instrument for support and aid. The Dutch version “voortgangsrapportage: nog tien weken” is the official version.


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