GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport, and Telecommunications (TEATT), has taken serious note of the accusation (made by the Dutch researchers of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, KITLV), that suspicions of irregularities and interviewer fraud during data collection coordinated locally by an employee of the Department of Statistics (STAT), have been confirmed following an independent check.
In reaction to these accusations, the Minister of TEATT hereby makes the following known.
An employee of the Department of Statistics was independently hired and as such would be paid by the Dutch research team to work on weekends (on her own time) to assist them with their project.
The employee was therefore working on the KITLV research project under the directives given by KITLV.
The Department of Statistics had no further involvement in the KITLV survey after the researchers decided to privately contract the individual, who at that point was not functioning in her capacity at STAT or on behalf of the Department.
The individual was privately responsible only to KITLV as local coordinator of the KITLV survey to recruit the interviewing team, manage their work, and submit completed questionnaires back to the research team in the Netherlands.
The responsibility for ensuring that there were proper checks & balances during the execution of this survey was entirely the responsibility of the KITLV Research team.
The Department of Statistics hereby makes known that the employee in question, when working on the Department of Statistics’ surveys, did so in close collaboration with the relevant project manager.
The Department also carries out various quality-check protocols, as well as monitors its progress and procedures on a weekly basis to ensure that these are fully in-line with its survey plans where it concerns objectivity, accuracy, and reliability.
KITLV has publicly admitted that the Department of Statistics did nothing wrong and was not in any way involved in the research design and execution of the survey.
The Minister of TEATT is further reviewing the situation in order to independently confirm the accuracy of these allegations, and to take appropriate action in the event that they are proven to be valid.