The Minister of Justice, Ms. Anna E. Richardson, is pleased to present an update on the progression of the Ministry’s Function Book (FB). Minister Richardson has confirmed that the Function Book is near its completion, currently at the Council of Advice awaiting the final stage of reviews.
Over the past months, a series of reviews and revisions of the FB draft were undertaken with the relevant parties tasked in supporting its completion and ratification. Prior to being sent to the Council of Advice, the Function Book was presented to the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (CCSU) on December 22nd 2020, where it was reviewed and subsequently returned with their rendered advice on February 26th, 2021. Upon receipt of the CCSU review, Minister Richardson sent a written response to the union on April 29th 2021, based on their advice, to further provide clarity on the draft. In addition, where necessary, adjustments were made to ensure all elements of the draft were clear and understood by all parties.
At present, the Function Book has officially entered into the legislative process since being approved by the Council of Ministers on May 11th 2021. Continuing with the legal process, on May 21st 2021 the FB package was forwarded on to the Governor’s Cabinet for further handling and then on to the Council of Advice for review and advice. Having entered into the legislative process for review and advice by the Council of Advice, the advisory role of the CCSU has officially come to an end. The CCSU’s role was essential in providing necessary expertise in guiding the development of the Function Book to the legislative phase; with the additional support of the Personnel and Finance departments.
Moving steadily forward, the subsequent step will be the review by the Council of Advice who will render their advice on all such legislation. "I am confident with the draft as it currently stands and trust that the next steps of the process shall be smooth, hopefully with minimal to no changes needed after the review [by the Council of Advice]," stated Minister Richardson.
Once a positive advice has been received from the Council, the Function Book will then be sent to His Excellency, Drs. Eugene Holiday, to be established by National decree containing general measures (LBham). When this step is finalized, the Function Book will then be recognized within the status of law of Sint Maarten.
The completion of the Function Book has been a priority of Minister Richardson upon entering office in March 2020. Minister Richardson has defined this achievement as a milestone for the Ministry of Justice, and reassures all employees that the completion of the Function Book will remain her top priority.
As a show of gratitude, Minister Richardson would like to once again extend a special thank you to the Work Group and Steering Committee for their continued efforts in achieving this positive progress, as well as to the CCSU and all stakeholders and partners that contributed to achieving the FB’s completion. “It’s been challenging months leading up to where we are today, but through the dedication and hard work by a great team effort we were able to achieve this milestone. I am pleased that the Function Book will soon be completed, this milestone is a positive step forward for the entire ministry”, stated Minister Richardson.