Kralendijk- In a sometimes heated debate, the Bonaire Island Council yesterday debated the outcome of a integrity probe, partially conducted by the Governor’s office and partially by the Integrity Bureau of Dutch Municipalities (BING).
The integrity probe was prompted by a report drafted by temporary trustee Ben Oleana of the Bonaire Holding Company. Oleana accused local Government and commissioners of political meddling, (miss)use of public funds for pet projects, and political appointments in Government-owned entities.
Out of the 7 complaints voiced by Oleana, only 2 were subjected to a further assessment. An excerpt of the findings was shared with members of the Island Council and the press.
While the Governor’s office found various issues that needed improvement, it refrained from pinpointing specific persons or specific contracts. The report speaks more about ways to achieve a better integrity in the public organization.
BING found that while there were no indications that a particular commissioner had misappropriated funds for his own benefit, he had violated certain principles of integrity.
While the coalition forming the Executive Council were generally mild about the conclusions, the opposition parties were less amused. “How can a subordinate write an opinion about possible integrity violations when they also concern you?”, said PDB leader Clark Abraham.
Independent Council woman Daisy Coffie had similar concerns. Coffie also wanted to know why not all 7 points identified by Oleana had been probed, rather than a selection of only two. Coffie also insisted that she wanted to have actual names of those potentially implicated in the findings. “Who are these consultants who were hired? What are their names of their companies? How much money was involved? Have results of projects awarded been evaluated?” were some of the questions raised by Coffie.
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