THE BOTTOM- The Island Council is demanding more transparency from the Saba Government, and unanimously adopted a motion on Wednesday, August 10, obligating the Executive Council to give clarity on its decisions.
The motion of Members of the Island Council Carl Buncamper and Vito Charles of the WIPM party reminded the Executive Council that it has an obligation to provide information to the Island Council. This information is not only important in the interest of transparency, but it is also essential in order for the Island Council to duly carry out its tasks and fulfill its supervisory role.
This is known as the active information obligation, and it is stated in the general law that regulates the Caribbean Netherlands, called the WolBES. This law explicitly states that the Island Council may regulate which decisions of the Executive Council will be provided to the Island Council. “This is not something that we are making up; it is clearly stated in the law,” said Charles.
The motion resolved that, effective from its next meeting, the Executive Council will provide the decisions in the format that the Island Council has provided. Furthermore, the decision-lists will be provided to the Island Council and published on the website of the Public Entity Saba weekly and no later than 6:00pm of the day preceding the next scheduled meeting of the Executive Council.
The motion works retroactively: all outstanding decision-lists must be provided to the Island Council no later than October 1, 2022. “This will create another level of transparency and it will give clarity on the reasoning behind decisions. It is a good step forward,” said Buncamper, who read the motion during the 2021-year report meeting.
“We have been asking for years to get the decision-lists of the Executive Council. By publishing the decision-lists, the information becomes public and we, the people, can hold the government accountable,” said Charles.
WIPM Island Council Member Eviton Heyliger said that this would help the Island Council to better understand as to why decisions were taken and possibly even revise some decisions that proved to have a detrimental effect. “I can fully support this motion. I hope it will lead to more transparency and communication,” said independent Island Council Member Hemmie van Xanten.