PHILIPSBURG--“Politically-motivated appointments are possible” within Government, according the a review of “Administrative Appointments” carried out by the General Audit Chamber as it sought to address the issue of integrity in 2016.

The Audit Chamber highlighted this finding in its 2016 Annual Report presented earlier this week to Governor Eugene Holiday and Members of Parliament (MPs).

The country has legislation for the promotion and achievement of effective business practices, said the Audit Chamber. Despite the existence of this framework, the review found there is little, if any, transparency concerning the appointment procedure, politically-motivated appointments are possible, supervisory board members are often involved in important decision-making and security screenings are not applicable for supervisory board members.

The review focused on supervisory board member positions (or similar functions) from 2014 going forward. In conducting this investigation, the Audit Chamber focused on the actions of the respective Ministers responsible for appointments. The result was a call for transparency.

The Minister representing a Government entity is one of the responsible parties (if not the most important party), and must – always – be able to provide insight into the appointment process, said the Audit Chamber.

“Political appointments, conflicts of interest and dishonest acts should be avoided. The objective should be the placement of the most qualified persons in suitable positions,” the Audit Chamber stated. This is “particularly necessary” in the case of Government-owned companies that manage and/or are worth millions of guilders.

Entities of major economic and strategic value “should not be allowed to negatively impact the country's finances, especially considering Government’s precarious financial situation. Compliance with regulations related to effective business practices, transparency and integrity is therefore essential,” the Chamber said.

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