Philipsburg โ€“ The Ministry of Justice is currently making great headway with the ongoing calculation and placement process. Just one month after the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson engaged with Sint Maarten Pension Fund (APS) for the incorporation of the 16.3% retroactive pension calculations for law enforcement personnel, all related data have been sent to APS for review and completion. The incorporation of the 16.3% retroactive pension by APS is the last part of the calculation process to establish the full debt amount the Government of Sint Maarten will have to pay law enforcement personnel over a three-to-five-year period as agreed in the established Covenant agreement.

The Ministry of Justice also continues to engage with Antek IT Solutions who were consulted to retrieve historical data of all law enforcement personnel. This data is being used to calculate the payments once APS has made the updates to their administration. The ministry is also using this system to ensure the information provided by each department regarding their personnelโ€™s past and current function, salary and other pertinent related information is accurate.

To avoid any discrepancies in the amounts to be paid out to the respective justice personnel, the data of the total calculations will be submitted to SOAB for auditing. Upon receipt of the audited report from SOAB, Minister Richardson will send the completed National Decree containing General Measures (Lbham) in connection with the new police law, the new salary scales, and the approved Function Book back to His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly for approval and signature.

Simultaneously, the placement process is underway with the placement of all justice personnel in their new function according to the approved Function Book. The Placement Committee will begin issuing placement offer letters to all justice personnel starting on March 15, 2023. The letters will include information such as the new function and salary amount.

For many years, the administration of the Human Resources Department of the Ministry of Justice remained incomplete and unmanaged. In a bid to improve the personnel data management of the Ministry, the HR department of Justice has been busy establishing proper personnel files for all employees of the entire ministry.

On February 14, 2023, Minister Richardson requested a meeting with the Committee of Civil Servants Union (CCSU) to gain approval for the use of the Government Payroll system and other legitimate documents to confirm function(s) and salary information of justice personnel, in those instances where the documents are not available. For example, a staff member within a department may have been given a directive via email to begin functioning in a specific position. This email would be the documentation provided to demonstrate the period for which the worker has been functioning in said capacity. On March 2, 2023, Minister Richardson sent a letter to all justice personnel requesting them to share any documentation to support the function they are in, as these will be taken into consideration when preparing the placement letters.

โ€œThis is the first time in Sint Maartenโ€™s history whereby the process of resolving the Ministry of Justiceโ€™s personnel affairs has made such a great feat near the finish line within a four-year governing term. This process has been and continues to be a meticulous one, requiring accuracy and diligence with the data of over 700 justice employees: Prison, Customs, Police, Immigration, MOT, National Detectives, Staff Bureau, and Judicial Affairs. The Court of Guardianship currently remains part of the ministry but the updating of the LIOL must be done and then their Function Book will be added to the ministry.

โ€œI ask that persons using professional platforms to create unrest consider this, as the spreading of false narratives is misleading a number of justice personnel and the population, an action not conducive to the process.

โ€œI take this time to thank all personnel of the Ministry of Justice for their patience. I will continue to keep you updated and assure you that all parties involved including the placement committee, the HR department, APS, Antek, and SOAB are working diligently behind the scenes to finalize the calculation and placement process within short,โ€ stated Minister Richardson.