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Curacao’s Economic Inspection Department similar to St. Maarten.

inspectioncuracao16072019PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication the honourable Stuart Johnson returned last week from a fact-finding mission at the Department of Economic Inspections in Curacao where he says it is good to note that "Curacao's Economic Inspection Department is structured similarly to the department on St Maarten and does not have department solely dedicated to Calibration.”
Johnson said on Monday that while Curacao is a larger island, they have less staff for the department than St. Maarten does, and both islands utilize their team to perform multiple functions. This information was provided during the meeting held with the Head of the Economic Inspection Department in Curacao Ronny Cornelius, who also outlined that there is no dedicated Calibration Department within the ministry in Curacao.
Head of the Inspectorate of TEATT Lucien Wilson accompanied Johnson on the working visit.
Wilson said he "fully agrees with Curacao's modus operandi as it is a much more efficient way of operating a department rather than specialization, considering the scale of both of our operations and the size of our islands." He said the island of Curacao is divided into geographic zones, as is the case in St. Maarten
The visit was according to Johnson necessary to learn of some of the best practices that the island of Curacao uses where it pertains calibration. He said, for example, the Economic Inspection Department in Curacao follows a similar work plan that of the Inspection Department in St. Maarten whereby their staff is multifunctional.
In St. Maarten, the Inspection Department has six permanent employees while in Curacao, there are only five. As is the case on St. Maarten, the staff in Curacao are tasked with calibration but are also responsible for controlling Business Permits, price control. They also work based on an established annual work program prepared by the Department, as is the case in St. Maarten.
During the visit, both department heads were also able to discuss some of the challenges faced with Calibration and shared some ideas of a way forward. Johnson said, “Price control and calibration is essential to protecting the legitimacy of economic activity on St. Maarten. It is especially critical for us to continue to routinely control and upgrade our skills as a department and Ministry so that we can better secure our community from unfair practices or unreasonably escalated prices.”
He said the two ministries have agreed to make their visits more frequent and to build a closer working relationship in a bid to creating an even more efficient Inspection Department. "Our goal is not just to police businesses but to provide proper guidance and the services of calibration to ensure that even businesses themselves are not unknowingly giving more for less. Calibration protects both businesses and consumer, and we intend to ensure that the controls remain as effectively enforced as has been done by my ministry," said Johnson.
Johnson said the Ministry of TEATT has invited members of Parliament from both sides of the aisle will be taking a tour of businesses on the island with the staff from the Economic Inspection Department. During the tour which will be conducted on Wednesday the Members of Parliament will have a first-hand look at the work involved in ensuring businesses are operating within the parameters of the law and ensuring that all machines used to dispense goods and services are accurately calibrated.

Theoretical part of Driver’s License Exam Digitalized.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications (TEATT), Driving Exams Department (DED) has commenced with a soft launch of it's Digital Theory Driving Examinations, and with the full launch scheduled for September 2nd, 2019’.

The Driving Exams Department has commenced with digitization which is about a five-year process. The department started off with the digitalization of the theoretical part of the exam which has been vetted by curriculum developers used by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports, and they are based on local and international standards.

The aforementioned automated process is also in use on the French side of the island as well as in Aruba and Curacao.

DED wants to move away from the current system and into the 21st century leading to a well versed and rounded driver with safety being number one on the public roadway.

Driver’s license applicants have 30 questions with a choice of 30 to 45 minutes. A number of applicants have passed the exam and have expressed satisfaction with the new system.

DED advises that applicants should not be nervous or overanxious. The timeframe to take the theoretical exam is sufficient.

The program allows the applicant to get their results instantly via email once they have entered their email address into the system. Applicants must have basic computer-use knowledge which facilitates the examination process. Under special conditions candidates with challenges can be accommodated if the candidates advised the Civil Registry in advance upon application for the exam.

The manual theoretical exam system will be phased out after September 2nd, 2019. The new system allows DED to quadruple the number of exams carried out in one day.

The process for the applicant has improved leading to a better customer service experience; the time from making the appointment to sitting the exam has been shortened considerably.

There are plans in the making to integrate the appointment system with that of the Civil Registry Department where it concerns notification of appointment via email. This should take place in the second half of 2019.

Driving schools are now more important than ever. They have been appraised of the new system that has been put in place and applicants will need to work more closer with the aforementioned in preparing for their exams.

The new system has not led to an increase in costs for applicants.

School Bus Annual Inspection Starts on July 23rd.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Inspectorate of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications (TEATT), Section School Bussing, would like to inform school bus owners and drivers that the Annual School Bus Inspection will take place on July 23rd, 25th, July 30th, August 1st, 6th with the final inspection day being on August 8th, 2019.

School bus owners are asked to visit the department at Juancho Yrausquin Boulevard #6 during office hours Monday through Friday or call 721-527-3825 or 721-542-4519 to make an appointment to have their busses inspected. Busses will be inspected by appointment only.

The Annual School Bus Inspection will take place on the Ring Road across from Bluepoint from 9.00AM to 11.00AM and 1.00PM to 3.00PM.

School bus owners as well as the drivers must be present during the school bus inspections and are required to have their original documents as well as copies of all their valid documents available during the inspection.

The documents required are: a valid, in color, driver’s license and valid driver license category for the vehicle for all drivers of the motor vehicle; valid motor vehicle insurance and valid inspection card.

Additionally, a fire extinguisher with valid inspection card and stored properly, a valid, fully stocked first aid kit. Chamber of Commerce registration for the owner/operator, spare tire and tools are to be in each vehicle.

School bus owners need to have the route the bus operates on display on the bus as well. All the aforementioned must be in order prior to the inspection process.

Police investigating attempted robbery.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Detectives are presently investigating an attempted robbery which took place in the vicinity of the Princess Juliana International Airport on Sunday, July 14th at approximately 19.00 p.m. According to the victim identified with initials J.G.C.A. (42) while riding on his scooter from the Maho beach area towards the main building of PJIA he suddenly felt a very heavy thump against his left leg and scooter causing him to lose control of the vehicle and fall to the ground. This is when he noticed that two unknown men on another scooter stopped next to his scooter which was lying on the ground. The passenger of the other scooter stepped off and started to search the compartments of his scooter but did not find anything.
As a result of fall, the victim suffered several bruised to his body and complained of pain in his right knee and arm. The paramedics arrived on the scene a gave the victim medical treatment. The victim was transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment.

KPSM Press Release

Worker dies at construction worksite.

PHILIPSBURG:--- On Sunday, July 14th at approximately 11.50 a.m. a police patrol was sent to Gold Finch road in Point Blanche to investigate a case involving a construction worker who was involved in a tragic accident while at work. On the scene the investigating officers encountered the lifeless body of a man identified with initial J.R. (54) from Haiti. According to witnesses the victim was busy demolishing a wall on the site at which time a large section of the wall broke off and accidentally fell on top of the victim. Dr. Perk came to the scene and pronounced the death of the victim. KPSM Forensic investigators and the Inspection Department of VROMI are also investigating the matter to determine the exact cause of this accident. The body of the victim was transported to the Royal Funeral Home.

KPSM Press Release

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