Statia Government opts for central approach to projects

In September 2021, the Executive Council of the Public Entity St. Eustatius formally decided to implement programmes and projects centrally by establishing a Programme- and Project Management Office (PPMO). The launch of PPMO has in part been made possible by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations of the Netherlands.

PPMO Establishment Rationale

Within municipalities it is often challenging to formulate, execute and implement programmes and projects effectively and efficiently. Programmes and projects usually require specific specialist knowledge, skills and competencies on technical, financial, social, environmental, and other levels that are insufficiently available within (small) organisations. In recognition of this, the Public Entity St. Eustatius has established the PPMO.

An organisational assessment has been conducted to determine the optimal PPMO organisational structure. Subsequently, in consultation with the responsible directorates within the Public Entity and associated ministries in the European Netherlands, short-term and long-term priorities have been jointly identified. Based on these goals, projects have been defined, and gap analysis in terms of knowledge, skills, and competencies, including the organisation of (procurement-) procedures, equipment, infrastructure, and buildings, has been conducted.

The Executive Council has set priorities for the project's sustainable and inclusive design and implementation by the Programme and Project Management Office. One of the essential requirements is that knowledge and skills should be transferred to the greatest and fullest extent to the existing organisation and its permanent employees.

To satisfy the wishes of the Executive Council, shared responsibilities between the government departments and PPMO have been established. The responsibility for quality assurance of programmes and projects lies within PPMO. The responsibility for quality control lies with the department. Intensive cooperation between the relevant directorate, PPMO, and external stakeholders is vital to programme and project success.

PPMO Priorities

PPMO programmes and projects share a clear link between what is desired and what is possible considering corresponding budgets made available by the government and the various ministries in the European Netherlands. This has resulted in full awareness and prioritization of feasible and achievable short-term objectives and results, from which long-term outcomes may flourish.

Currently, the Executive Council and PPMO have jointly prioritized the following projects:

  1. Airport water drainage;
  2. Repair and restoration of coastal vulnerabilities and other erosion projects;
  3. Construction of airport boulevard;
  4. Renewal of Oranjebaaiweg;
  5. The revitalization of Road Behind the Mountain;
  6. Construction of a new school building for the Gwendoline van Putten school;
  7. Construction of After School Care building;
  8. Seaport development plan;
  9. Enforcement of roaming animals’ programme.

Apart from these nine priorities, PPMO is working on:

  1. Erosion prevention, control and restoration;
  2. Masterplan Sports Complex;
  3. Realisation of camping ground;
  4. Realisation of BMX park/terrain;
  5. (Social) housing vision;
  6. Poverty reduction plan;
  7. Domestic Violence Victims' Shelter;
  8. (Water) Waste Management;
  9. Assisted living houses;
  10. Slaughterhouse renovation;
  11. Capacity building and organisation of the agricultural service;
  12. Development of sustainable agriculture;
  13. Reforestation;
  14. Food safety and veterinary services.

To be able to shape these projects according to the agreements made and the layout of the PPMO and to ensure effective and efficient execution and implementation, various specialists have been recruited:

  1. Programme Manager Sint Eustatius;
  2. Programme Secretary;
  3. Project Manager for Infrastructural projects;
  4. Project Manager construction project;
  5. Project Manager Social Domain;
  6. Programme Manager Nature & Environment Policy Programme;
  7. Project Leader roaming animals;
  8. Procurement and purchasing support staff.

Successful programme- and project execution rely on positioning the right people in the right place, supported by a solid administrative organisation. This allows for following up on agreements and arrangements while cooperating in an open, transparent, and safe work atmosphere. In this environment, all stakeholders are united in their joint endeavour toward a bright Golden Rock-solid future for Sint Eustatius.