Statia introduces new enforcement tools
The Public Entity St. Eustatius has introduced two new enforcement tools: Conditional Non-Compliance Penalty (Last onder Dwangsom) and Conditional Administrative Order (Last onder Bestuursdwang). With these instruments, enforcement of laws and regulations is more effective and time efficient as the process will take less time.
Enforcement of laws and regulations has been a challenge for the Public Entity for many years. Until now, inspectors of the Public Entity were able to submit warnings, close a business or write an official statement (Proces Verbaal) for the prosecutor, however in many cases these measures were not sufficient. The additional enforcement tools (Dwangsom and Bestuursdwang) will increase effectiveness as these are aimed at restoring an illegal situation to a legal one.
The introduction of these new enforcement tools is essential to ensure that laws have the intended effect. It also ensures that everyone is treated equally. Supervision and Enforcement is one of the 12 criteria to return to a full democracy, and introducing these tools is a step towards that.
Both instruments impose a penalty on the offender. A Conditional Non-Compliance Penalty (Last onder Dwangsom) requires the offender to address the situation. If he fails to do so within the timeframe provided, the offender will get a fine. A Conditional Administrative Order (Last onder Bestuursdwang) also requires the offender to address the situation, but if he fails to do so within the given timeframe, the Public Entity will address the situation and the related expenses will be charged to the offender.
For example, an individual gets a Conditional Administrative Order for a loose car wreck. He or she must remove the wreck within 2 weeks. If this is not done, the government will remove the wreck and the offender will be charged for the expenses related to the removal. An example of the Conditional Non-Compliance Penalty is a situation where someone has waste lying around, visible from the public road. He or she must remove this waste within 3 weeks. If this is not done, the government will impose a penalty.
The Public Entity will choose to use these instruments with great care. A Conditional Non-Compliance Penalty or Conditional Administrative Order comes with the opportunity for the offender to restore the illegal situation. After the timeframe stated in the letter, the situation will be inspected again. Only when the situation remained illegal, the Conditional Non-Compliance Penalty or Conditional Administrative Order will be imposed. An offender will always have the opportunity to appeal or object; this process is explained in the letter the offender receives.
Enforcement ensures that the law has its intended effect in everyday life. Effectiveness starts with proper communication about the laws, prevention, and supervision. However, there is always a chance that someone chooses to ignore the law. In those instances, the Public Entity can apply the new enforcement tools to ensure that laws are adhered to. In the coming weeks more information will be shared in special editions on Enforcement of Shedding Light. The community is encouraged to tune in to these programs to be better informed.