Armand Hessels of deugdelijkbestuuraruba.org, send a 147-page document around on January 2nd. He titled it Fundacion pa Gobernacion di Calidad Aruba: Rapport Integridad den administracion publico, having as you can understand to do with integrity in public administration.
He sent it to the Prime Minister, who instituted a bureau of Integrity last year, and to the Head of Parliament, to the newspapers, and also to me. I looked at it with despair. Dutch is not my forte. And promised to make slow progress over the next few weeks. From what I have read so far, it is a profound study of the lack of ability and lack of skill of all those who have ever governed this island, and the steep price paid by us for having such bumblebees at the helm, motivated by personal gains and/or the strength of their political party’s influence.
I know we have to support Armand, a one person protest movement. A Don Quixote, who dedicates his retirement to the betterment of our lives, by pointing out the weaknesses of our current quagmired system.
He publishes his findings under the umbrella of his not-for-profit foundation for quality government. Where does he get his information? He basically reads all reports commissioned by the government and filed away by the officials in the bottom drawer. He has been reading reports issued by the Central Bank, the IMF, the local government supervisory boards, accounting firms, and special envoys summoned by this department or the other to study challenges. He is a voracious reader, and while facts and figures appear in black or white, they are consistently ignored.
You will be flabbergasted when you read some of those documents masquerading as legit projects designed to milk public funds, you will be overwhelmed, he predicted.
This was Armand’s sixth report, the others had to do with GOA’s personnel, how our government spontaneously hires, the second dealt with the half-baked finance administration, the third with transparency or the lack of, the fourth with how our parliament functions, and doesn’t, the fifth lamented the sad state of our Social Economic Policy, and now the last and most important, the ultimate fix, Integrity, when you run with integrity, he says, everything falls into place.
While he points out the failures of our current nepotistic and corrupt system he is suggesting a new form of government designed to replace the now-stale and dysfunctional form of parliamentary-democracy we don’t enjoy.
According to Armand, the deep distrust in government is shared by nations all over the world and what worked in the 20th century in answer to despotism and autocracy is no longer working in the 21st century.
He proposes a new form of government that relies on highly experienced legal, financial and economic experts, of both sexes.
Instead of constantly trying to curb the appetites of politician for power and financial gains, scrap the system all together and start fresh, with a business government, staffed by union leaders, NGOs, and private sector representatives.
I will gladly share the report with you, if you wish to know more about it.
Armand recommends: This latest report seeks to create a picture of the way in which the Aruban policy has for decades dealt with initiatives / projects, often at the expense of the public interest. This report serves to provide insight into the way in which this took place (?), The serious consequences thereof for the community and the need to put an end to this quickly. Sound governance and trust in a sound government is a precondition for successfully addressing the challenges facing our country