VDSM is charged with executing security screenings on individuals who will hold positions of confidentiality. A Declaration of no Objection by VDSM is required to qualify for such a position. Depending on the type of position of confidentiality the security screening is classified as level A, B or C. Level A screening can be regarded as the most comprehensive. Access to confidential information and susceptibility to bribery and/or blackmail are important considerations in security screening. Therefore, the screening also extends into the private lives of individuals and is a very in-depth process. More information on security screenings can be found in our brochures under the Publications menu.
Positions of Confidentiality
Positions of Confidentiality are positions in the public and private sectors that are deemed vulnerable and require security screening by VDSM, to ensure individuals placed in these positions do not pose a threat to national security. These may be, for example, positions where access is given to confidential information, or access is given to a secure area.
These positions are regulated by law and anchored in the National Decree on Designating Positions of Confidentiality and the Execution of Security Screenings. One must realize that security screening should be the culmination of a coherent package of measures. This means that a position can only be designated as such after reasonable efforts have been undertaken by the employer to minimize security risks. If there are residual risks after such efforts have been made, the position can be considered one of confidentiality. Individuals who hold or desire to hold such a position are or will be tasked with special responsibilities and must therefore meet strict requirements regarding reliability, trustworthiness and integrity. The purpose of security screening is to help guarantee that these requirements are met.
|1. Position of Confidentiality
If you have applied for a position, or if you presently hold a position that has been designated as a position of confidentiality, you are required to undergo a security screening in order to obtain a ‘Declaration of No Objection’ (Verklaring van Geen Bezwaar, VGB). Positions of Confidentiality are vital positions in the private or public sector which can pose a risk to national security.
|2. Provide information
Positions of Confidentiality require a security screening by VDSM. This is to ensure that individuals placed in these positions do not pose a threat to our national security. Your (future) employer should provide you with information regarding the security screening and on how to complete and submit the questionnaire.
|3. Gather needed information
Download the digital questionnaire from the Screenings page. It is important that you complete the form as incomplete forms cannot be printed. If you do not have access to the internet, you can obtain a hard copy version of the questionnaire from your (future) employer, or from VDSM.
|4. Check, sign & send in documents
The following documents will have to be submitted: Employer application form, the Questionnaire, a copy of your (and your partner’s) valid identification card or passport, and original passport pictures. Place the documents in a sealed envelope; this way you safeguard your confidential information. Your employer will then submit all the documents to VDSM. It is your employer's responsibility to complete and submit the Employer Application Form. The information submitted by you will be treated with the utmost privacy.
|5. Start of security screening
When all information is received by VDSM, the Security Screening department will check if all necessary documentation is present. If this is the case, VDSM will start with the security screening. A security screening takes eight weeks to be completed.
|6. Plan for interviews
Screenings are carried out at the different levels, namely level A (the most intensive), level B or level C. The intensity of the screening is dependent on the level of risk of the position. Interviews generally take place for level A. If your position is considered an A level position, you will be contacted by a VDSM representative to schedule an interview.
|7. Aim of the screening
The security screening is regulated in the National Decree Designating Positions of Confidentiality and the Execution of Security Screenings (“Landsbesluit aanwijzing vertrouwensfuncties en uitvoering van veiligheidsonderzoeken”). The aim of the security screening is to rule the potential for threats to the national security of Sint Maarten.
|8. Outcome of the screening
If you successfully pass the security screening, VDSM will issue a Declaration of No Objection (Verklaring van Geen Bezwaar, VGB). A Declaration of No Objection is valid for five years, after which the security screening will be repeated. VDSM is authorized to restart a security screening at any time during this period should the need arise. If a threat to the national security cannot be ruled out in your case, you will receive a letter of intent of denial.
|9. Intent of denial
A Declaration of No Objection may be denied or withdrawn. In such cases, you will be notified of the intention to either deny or withdraw the Declaration of No Objection. You are welcome to respond to this intent. The results of the security screening will be reviewed after hearing your response.
|10. Objecting to the Intent
If the investigation shows that the Declaration of No Objection may not be issued, you will be notified. You will receive an intention to deny the Declaration of No Objection. You will also be informed on procedures to object to the intent to deny. If you receive an actual denial or withdrawal, an appeal may be filed against the decision.
|11. Appealing the decision
In case the Declaration of No Objection is denied or withdrawn by VDSM, you are given the option to appeal the decision. You will be notified of the decision and the procedure for filing an appeal. You can file an appeal first through the Supervisory Committee and in the second instance, through the Court in First Instance.
|12. Final decision
If the threat to national security cannot be ruled out in your case in both instances, the denial of a Declaration of No Objection will be upheld. You will be informed by the relevant authority about the final decision by a letter of denial.
The digital forms below are in PDF format. You must first save/download the form before you can open it. Right click on the desired link and select "save link/target as". Save the form and then you can open it.
|Employer Application Form||Download|
|A Level Questionnaire||Download|
|B Level Questionnaire||Download|
|C Level Questionnaire||Download|
Suggestions for filling in the forms with Adobe
To fill in the forms, it is required to use Adobe Reader. If you do not have Adobe installed on your computer, first download the software from www.adobe.com.
If you already have Adobe installed, follow the next steps:
- Select the relevant form to download it.
- Open Adobe Reader
- Choose ‘File’ and then ‘Open’.
- Browse to where your file was downloaded (usually the downloads folder)
- Click with your downloaded file and select open.
Apple users, follow these instructions
If you are using apple hardware, like for instance a Macbook and you’re in use of more information/ support. Follow these steps.
- Make sure Adobe Reader is installed on your machine ( if needed you can download the app from the appstore).
- Start Adobe Reader and open a .pdf file
- If the following message is displayed “Adobe Reader is not your default application to open .pdf files” Answer the questions stated with ‘YES’ to make Adobe Reader your default .pdf file reader.
If you follow these steps, all .pdf files should be opened with Adobe Reader instead of the Safari browser.
Screening of Candidate Ministers
After a parliamentary election, VDSM together with the Attorney General is responsible for providing information to the 'formateur' (individual authorized with the formation of the new government) in preparation of his/her advice to the Governor regarding the appointment of candidate ministers. This is regulated in the Appointment Decree of May 22, 2013, no LB-13/0442. This procedure is also applied if a minister is prematurely replaced. The information will in that case be provided to the Prime Minister.
During the screening process VDSM verifies the provided information of candidate ministers with information within its databases. This is in order to ascertain that there are no issues regarding the integrity or reliability of the prospective ministers that may consequently jeopardize the government. Based on the results received from VDSM and the Attorney General, the relevant authorities decide whether or not the candidate is eligible for the position of minister.