It’s the principal that counts, and introducing the HAMMER

It’s the principal that counts

OK, so the numbers were a bit exaggerated in my column on Friday, but the principle stands.

This discussion about assumptions and whether or not that green list was true or not, can be avoided if the ministers and aides would publish their travel expenses. Like they do in other countries. Transparency and accountability are key. That way the public is informed and forms an informed opinion, asking informed questions.

Besides, all this noise about transparency and accountability. We’re entitled to it. In the Netherlands the ministers, state secretaries and senior officials must publish all their expenses, not just travel, but also accommodation costs, restaurants even professional literature, all receipts must be submitted on claim forms downloaded from the internet, since 2012.

We should copy/paste. There are also guidelines about extending a business trip for personal reasons, maximum amount of days. Check out Rutte’s hotel bills on:

In 2009, the then Minister of the Interior, announced that the expenditure of ministers and state secretaries would be made public. Then in 2012, it applied to all officials

Bottom-line: We want GOA to handle tax money responsibly and make its expenditure controllable. All administrative costs of government officials and senior officials, should be made public.

Of course in order to do a good job, they must incur expenses, I get that, and that’s ok as long as public money is handled with care.

Before abandoning the subject: Is part of the list true? How much of it is true?

Just to say it’s incorrect is not enough. Then it’s just he-said-she-said.

Are the ministers all travelling while we need laws passed in parliament and the country governed?

The Hammer

I met Josephine Martilia Albertus recently. She is an impressive powerhouse, the president of SIMAR representing 400 to 500 teachers on the island.

The MinEdu, as is his custom, announced just before the weekend that he was removing all over-time privileges from teachers. Though it is an excellent move, and recommended to help restore the health of our ailing economy, SIMAR contends that it cannot be announced out of the blue as a fait accomplis without including Simar in the decision-making-process.

As her married name implies, Josephine, the HAMMER, Albertus, is out to protect the interests of the teachers.

According to her, they are sent out into the battle field, unsupported, without the necessary tools to educate our kids in the 21 century. With one florin per child for technology, classrooms are under-equipped and understaffed, resulting in a population where 60% is WITHOUT a secondary education diploma.  

What are you going to do to solve this crisis in education: Chronic lack of funds, unpunished fraud within school management circles, deep teacher frustration, overwhelming parent dissatisfaction, disconnected ministry of education, a national plan for education with ZERO allocated funds.

I will work very hard, she said.




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July 29, 2019
Rona Coster