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Significant cuts in St. Maarten 2013 budget across Justice Ministry

TUESDAY, 02 APRIL 2013

PHILIPSBURG–The justice chain has been pointing out for some time now that the lack of manpower and funding have handicapped investigations into a variety of cases, leaving only room for major crimes such as murders. Based on the draft 2013 budget, the shortage of funding will continue.

The Police Force, the National Detectives, the Financial Intelligence Unit MOT, Prosecutor’s Office and Coast Guard all saw a large part of their budget cut, compared to the allocations of last year.

The Justice Ministry, headed by Justice Minister Roland Duncan, has been allocated NAf. 66,919,500 of the total country budget of NAf. 457,874,400. The allocation is NAf. 520,900 less than last year.

The Minister of Justice received NAf. 651,800 for this year, NAf. 11,500 less than in 2012. The cabinet saw a 40 per cent increase in its funds, receiving NAf. 1,061,200. The staff bureau saw an 8.7 per cent reduction in its allocation. The staff bureau got a total of NAf. 1,052,400.

Judicial Affairs received NAf. 1,403,900, a decrease of 19.9 per cent from last year.

The Police Department received NAf. 24,291,000 for this year, a 10.5 per cent decrease from 2012.

The prison saw an increase in its budget allocation from NAf. 9,507,300 last year to NAf 10,369,100 this year.

The Immigration and Naturalization Department also saw an increase in its funding for the year. The department has been allocated NAf. 8,884,200, up from NAf 3,718,000 from last year.

The National Detectives (Landsrecherche) will have to work with 23.4 per cent less in its coffers than last year. The detectives received NAf. 1,088,500 this year, a decrease from the allocation of NAf. 1,421,000 last year.

The Custom Department has seen an increase to its budget for 2013. Customs was allocated NAf. 2,287,800, an increase of NAf. 305,000 over last year.

MOT’s budget has been cut by 17.5 per cent, putting its allocation for the year at NAf. 692,900, down from NAf. 839,600 in 2012.

The Registrar of the Common Court of Justice was allocated NAf. 4.5 million, down from NAf. 4,622,500 from last year.

The allocation to the Prosecutor remained the same as last year: NAf. 1,691,800, while the amount for the Prosecutor’s Office was decreased by 42.8 per cent. The office received NAf. 2,002,900 this year, compared to NAf. 3,502,900 last year.

A 36 per cent decrease was made to the budget of the Coast Guard. This puts the Coast Guard’s allocation for 2013 at NAf. 1.6 million, down from NAf. 2.5 million last year.

The Court of Guardianship received an increase in its budget. That increase was from NAf. 1,261,300 in 2012 to NAf. 1,425,000 this year.

The Constitutional Court, which has not met since its formation over two years ago, has a 50 per cent decrease it is budget from NAf. 500,000 last year to NAf. 250,000 this year.

The Council for Law Enforcement (Raad van Rechtshandhaving) has a 48.8 per cent decrease in its budgetary allocation. The council was allocated NAf. 525,000, down from NAf. 1,025,000 last year.

Funding for care of juvenile delinquents GOG was reduced by 68.2 per cent from NAf. 365,000 last year to NAf. 116,000 this year.

Monies for Turning Point Foundation, which handles people with drugs, alcohol and substance abuse, remain steady. The foundation will receive the same amount from the Justice Ministry’s budget as last year: NAf. 1,240,400.

The Probation Department will also receive the same allocation as it has last year: NAf. 1,785,200.

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