|Advisory Council believes ministers have a position involving confidentiality|
|Tuesday, 16 October 2012 12:16|
WILLEMSTAD — The Advisory Council disagrees with the proposition in the explanatory memorandum to the draft National Regulation integrity (candidate) ministers that ministers don’t have a position involving confidentiality. The screening law stipulates that with the investigation into candidate-ministers regarding state security the head of the Intelligence Service Curaçao (VDC) is in principle to confine himself to information already available to the VDC.
The proposition, as described in the screening law, means that in principle candidate-ministers are not subjected to ‘drastic investigation’, as is the case with positions involving confidentiality. Only if there’s a serious suspicion regarding the candidate that could threaten the state security will the person charged with forming a new cabinet request the VBC to conduct further investigation, according to the explanatory memorandum to the screening law.
According to the government (the law was drawn up under the Schotte-cabinet), administrative positions (read: ministers) cannot be considered positions involving confidentiality. “With that the government follows the prevailing opinion in this matter, as mentioned in the particular letter from the Dutch minister-president to the Lower Chamber.” This is also in accordance with the practice in other countries of the Kingdom.
The Advisory Council clearly disagrees with the government and in this respect refers to article 1 of the National Regulation VDC, which states the following on a position involving confidentiality: a position with the government or elsewhere on Curaçao that could form a danger or risk for the continuance of the democratic legal order, the integrity of the public administration or the security and other important interests of Curaçao. According to the Advisory Council, article 15 of the same national regulation instructs to appoint positions involving confidentiality, with prevailing general measures regarding the national regulation. “The Advisory Council is of the opinion that the position of minister – as apposed to other political posts – can most certainly be considered a position involving confidentiality – both as regards contents and the prevailing social opinions on Curaçao. Taking into account the aforementioned, the Council advises the government to adjust the draft and the explanatory memorandum.
Adjustments not included
The original text of the law that was forwarded to the Parliament last Thursday doesn’t include the adjustments. Article 4, section 1 of the law states that candidate-ministers are to be subjected to a state security investigation conducted by the head of the VDC. He gives the information from VDC-files, if available, and the information gathered within the framework of his activities. A more thorough investigation is only possible if there are strong indications, according to the draft law. “The person charged with forming a new cabinet, or the vice-chairman of the Advisory Council if it regards the candidature of aforementioned person, requests the head of the Intelligence Service Curaçao to conduct a thorough investigation into the candidate concerned, only with a serious suspicion that the protection of the interests, mentioned in (...) the National Regulation Intelligence Service Curaçao, are threatened.”