A country is govern by its constitution. Rules and Regulations within a country determines not only the transparency but also lay down guidelines and principles that are important for a country overall wellbeing. More than ever a country that wants to continue promoting being democratic and a safe haven for acceptance of all ethnic groups. There are rules that a country needs to abide by in order to send a clear message not only to its investors but also the residents, visitors and international partners of that country.
The higher compliance rate you have the better your country will be viewed on the international market and it will also be a deterrent for any organization or individuals with evil intentions that are scoping for countries where there is a weak supervision or weak control mechanism in place. As a country you want to be considered not only as a tax free safe haven but more importantly a country with high integrity and compliance standards, especially when running your local and international affairs. Compliance violations by and within businesses have now assumed international proportions. At the same time, the responsibility of both local and corporate management to prevent compliance violations has increased all over the world.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) wants to enforce an ethically responsible manner of corporate management worldwide.
As well as awareness of human rights and the obligation to observe national laws, rules are enclosed for fighting corruption. Amongst other things, the Organization demands management control systems be introduced which work to counter bribery and corruption. Countries that have international partners has to abide by the many international laws like ISO’s on the different levels. What is the message we are exposing out there? When it comes to negotiations and sitting at negotiation table, how strong can the country stand and demand, when contrary behaviors are tolerated?
We have outdated laws that needs to be amended, but this doesn’t give open door for existing basic laws of integrity, good business practice and good governance not to be upheld. Basic rules can’t and should not be overruled while running a country. We all know that revision of the laws is required and that’s why parliamentarians are elected to execute precisely that. Parliamentarians has a code of conduct they need to abide by.
In AB 2010 GT no.22 article 1 general explanatory memorandum states: “Holders of political responsibility must set an example. Their actions and omissions have an effect on the civil service organization and on the society. Relations between the public and the government involve a power relationship”
This means that government reps at all times have to set the example and adhere to the country’s laws no matter who, what or when. No matter black, white, friend, relative, business partner, affiliate, investor, blue eyes or brown eyes. The law was meant NOT to have no sort of discrimination. Government officials should be the ambassadors that uphold the law, in order to minimize the abuse that has and is still taken place on the local market right now.
The constant manoeuvres that is being used to avoid compliance with the laws of the land is known to everyone and should be addressed by parliament officials which represent the highest legislative body in the country. Parliamentarians legislate! Ministers go ahead and execute once it is to protect its citizens and to the best interest of the country as a WHOLE.
Citizens, visitors and investors abide by the rules set forth. There is no in between. The country already have a lot of weaknesses in its legislation that has been and is still being misused conveniently by many which parliamentarians that have come and gone and are there now knows about. It is well known what tactics are used, what loopholes there are in laws which are permitting abuses like these to happen and who are the ones repetitively using it over and over.
Abiding by the rules counts for everyone no matter the last name, the position, the amount of funds you bring into the country. Investors are already getting a very lucrative tax incentive, which should be revised since its being used against the country. Employees and employers have rights and obligations that the laws stipulates that need to be abide by, no ifs or buts. Police officers, Immigration officers, Controllers , Bailiffs’ and Inspectors are there to execute their jobs to the best of their abilities according the laws of the land no matter who , where and what time as long it’s done according the rules and regulations. There are ways of doing things and trying to undermine an inspector publicly while executing his/her job in upholding the country’s law, is wrong.
Based on article 44 of the PB, AB210, CT no.25 the civil servant is given this authority. If it wasn’t enough to publicly undermine an inspector, giving such wrong handling exposure, has just contributed more to the demise of the country. This can and will have negative effect on short and on the long term, not only local but also on international level.
To those that are not abiding by the oath do not forget that in AB 2010, GT no25 the articles 57-65 sets the standards of proper behavior clearly. But those that are abiding to the laws while executing their job , they should be applauded and not be put to shame” Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Incidents like these have far reaching consequences:
- Locally and internationally the wrong message is being promoted publicly.
- The employer is given “fake” strength over law abiding citizens that are executing their jobs while employers are not being reprimanded for being in default with the laws of the land
- It’s very demotivating for employees that are trying to execute their jobs to the best of their ability by abiding by the laws and they publicly get dealt with like this, it’s absolutely not correct.
- It also creates emotional instability amongst the employees as all employees wants to know that the government will do the right thing when the opportunity presents itself, which is clearly not the case in this last incident.
In a country you have law-abing individuals and law-breaking individuals, you have corrupt and transparent individuals, you have hardworking and lazy individuals just as much as you have Jesus- followers and satan-followers. Regretfully that’s the balance we are living in.
But it seems like all of a sudden more and more wrong doings are brushed off and good deeds are not even considered to be in the media. How convenient! People we have a generation to take care of, stop putting your attention on self and see the bigger picture. What is done today will determine how our children, including yours will be treated tomorrow in their own country!
There’s a lot of work to be done. Focus on the things that are of importance; Rise in unemployment, Home repairs overdue, deterioration of social aspect, increase in home –abuse (child abuse), outdated laws too many to mention.
Mrs Pamela Gordon-Carty MBA
Former Sint Maarten VSA Minister