Philipsburg – On Friday, April 22, the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson paid a visit to a four-day workshop on ‘Civil Servant’s Rights & the Advising Process’ currently undertaken by personnel advisors of the Ministry of Justice from April 19 until April 22. The safety and protection of the St. Maarten community greatly depend on the efforts of the civil servants in the Ministry. As such, this workshop comes as a step forward in improving the Ministry’s personnel affairs processes and dealing with the issue that affects its most important asset; its employees.

“Since taking office in 2020, I have been focused on improving the various issues that have plagued this Ministry for more than 10 years. Concerns, regarding the existing staff and further staffing, are being addressed, firstly, with the completion of the Ministry’s Function Book which has now been published, and now via dialogue with the unions in order to regulate the legal position of KPSM and the National Detectives, and their new salary scales,” stated Minister Richardson.

The Ministry has been working diligently toward filling numerous key positions within the various departments. Among these, are the recruitment and selection of professionals for the Victim Support Services (VSS), the further processing of the organizational plan for the Executive Protection Unit (EPU), and the completion of training for 12 certified customs officers who were sworn in on April 22. KPSM has seen an increase in the police force over the past two years via the training and certification of their recruits, a practice that continues at present, and training for Point Blanche Prison guards is expected to begin in June 2022. Critical professional development projects are also being prepared to train personnel of various sections of the Immigration and Border Control Services, and in the interim, training qualifications required to recognize several educational programs formally, are being reviewed.

The workshop for the personnel advisors is the beginning of a new approach where cooperation between the executive services is being improved. Working in teams from the different departments will allow staff members to learn from each other and make better use of the power of collaboration which has been strengthened by Minister Richardson with the approval of the development and implementation of a digital platform. The platform will allow direct communication among the Ministry’s staff, where requests concerning allowances and other employees’ benefits can also be made.