The first symposium speaker was the Jane Semeleer, the President of the Central Bank of Aruba, since 2008. She is the first woman to occupy this position in the Dutch Kingdom and she explained why good governance in the public sector is so important from a central bank perspective.
She elaborated how all market forces work together, and how the Central Bank acts to protect the fixed peg of the local florin to the dollar.
From what I understand from her presentation, almost nothing about our fiscal good governance is anchored by law, and thus it is so subject to interpretation, and flimsily followed up. We basically need good fiscal governance laws. Rules on reporting and forecasting, and solid procedures, so that sustainable public finances can survive. Stuff like the ceiling of debt to GDP, and how much we should spend on education, all that must be committed to paper.
Most importantly, all of GOA’s data must be transparent, and open to public scrutiny. (I want to read RDA contracts….see what is happening there.)
The first lady of banking also dictated that we should have a national anti-corruption strategy, whatever that means and in preparation for the above the Central Bank surveyed the locals:
Above 70% of those surveyed, think that the problem of corruption is widespread in Aruba while a marginal percent thinks there is no corruption
Almost 70% agreed that there is corruption in public institutions in Aruba only close to 20% disagree
More than 50% agree that the current parliamentary system contributes to corruption in Aruba
About 60% perceive corruption as part of the business culture in Aruba also more than 70% agree that favoritism and corruption hamper business competition
Those are tragic findings.
One of my friends writes: I attended the symposium last night with some of my AHATA colleagues. I was pleased to see, although not completely surprised, in the CBA’s presentation how they quantified the lack of confidence the public has in government and in government institutions when it comes to corruption. Unless you are a totally crooked politician how can you not take note of this?
I thought the MinPres spoke well and was glad to see her cabinet actually acknowledging and addressing the issue of corruption. I don’t know how effective the three new government integrity entities will be in addressing this but at least something is going to be done. I would have preferred to call these new entities “the bureau of anti-corruption,” etc. instead of integrity.
The cynic in me asks if we can’t root out drugs and thugs off Palm Beach how are we going to root out corruption in government?
Also, when the MinPres says Parliament is behind this, I wonder what goes through Benny Sevinger’s mind when this is tabled on the parliament’s agenda?
Anyway, I was glad I went. It was worthwhile and at least this important issue is been addressed.