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Established Project Group to Move Forward with the Function Books Process

The Project Group Function Books Ministry of Justice, established by Ministerial Decree, held its kick-off meeting on Friday, September 4th, 2020, at the Government Administration Building, with all its members and support staff in attendance. The Project Group is tasked with the finalization and legislative ratification of the function books of the Ministry of Justice and the placement of the personnel in the functions thereafter. The Project Group is comprised of a Steering Committee and a Workgroup with representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of General Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance.

Each function book comprises of three parts; firstly, the functions and their job descriptions, secondly, the valuation and assignment of scales to the functions based on the “weight” of the function using the FuwaSXM framework, and third, the formation plan noting FTEs (Full-Time Equivalents) per function. The first part has been completed for all nine departments within the Ministry of Justice with the support of Balance consultancy firm.

Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson stated that the establishment of the Workgroup and Steering Committee are milestones for the Justice workers, and as such she is extremely excited that all hands are on deck in order to complete a significant aspect of the function books before the end of the year. She further stated, ‘We will achieve the goal of finalizing the functions and then the legislative channels that the function books have to go through will take place.’

The Steering Committee will collectively guide and monitor the progress of the entire project and will pre-approve key decisions regarding the function books. The Council of Ministers will then take the final decisions on aspects handled by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee consists of the Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson, Minister of General Affairs Silveria Jacobs, Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion, Acting Secretary-General of the Ministry of Justice Vidjai Jusia, Secretary-General of the Ministry of General Affairs Hensley Plantijn, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Finance Arno Peels, and the chair of the Workgroup Luud Hakkens. The combination of Ministers and Secretaries-General in the Steering Committee is to ensure progress on all levels of government.

The Workgroup is chaired by the representative of the Ministry of General Affairs, Section Head at the Personnel & Organization Department, Luud Hakkens, and two members representing the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance. The Workgroup will meet on a weekly basis and is tasked with the preparation of all necessary documentation and legislation, consultations with the various Department Heads of the Ministry of Justice and consultations on behalf of the Ministers with the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (CCSU). They will consult and update the Steering Committee at least monthly on the progress of the entire process. The Workgroup will be supported by other

personnel and external expertise depending on the phase in the process. The Workgroup will establish key milestones and related timelines that will guide their process.

On July 29th, 2020, the Minister of Justice sent a letter to the Council of Advice requesting an update on the timeline for the delivery of their advice on the draft legislation concerning the repeal of ‘Rechtspositie Korps Politie Nederlandse Antillen 2000’ and the adjustment of the salary scales for the Police Force of St. Maarten (KPSM) that was submitted at the end of 2019. This advice concerns the Legal Position of KPSM; one of the departments within the Ministry of Justice. In its response on September 4th, 2020, the Council of Advice informed the Minister of Justice that the advice is currently under examination and they hope to render their advice within short. It is clear that the complexity of the advice subject requires extensive diligence.

‘From the start of my tenure as Minister of Justice, the purpose of forming this Project Group has been to implement a new function book for the entire Ministry of Justice and to update the legal position of the Police Department. Today is deemed a fundamental moment whereby the road ahead will lead to many positive changes for our Justice workers. As such, the completion and implementation of the function books remain among my ‘Top Five’ priorities as the Minister of Justice,’ stated Minister Anna E. Richardson.