Renewed publication vacancy Island Governor Public Entity of Bonaire

The State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation would like to invite interested persons to apply for the function of Island Governor for the Public Entity of Bonaire (circa 25,172 inhabitants).

Appointment process

The Island Governor will be appointed by royal decree for a period of six years, after being nominated by the State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation. The (acting) Kingdom Representative for the Public Entities of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will be responsible for the recruitment and selection process.

The (acting) Kingdom Representative has, together with the Island Council for the Public Entity of Bonaire, compiled a profile that will be used when selecting candidates.

The procedure may include an assessment, thus giving the (acting) Kingdom Representative extra information when making his recommendation.

Prior to the nomination, the candidate that the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations intends to nominate must undergo a screening process. This screening will involve a reference from the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and a fiscal investigation.

Legal status

The remuneration offered to the Island Governor amounts to USD 119.914 per year*. For further information about this and other legal affairs relating to the Island Governor, please refer to the Rechtspositiebesluit politieke gezagdragers BES (Legal status political authorities BES Decree), which can be accessed online.

Application period

If you would like to be considered for this position, you are invited to submit your application before the Sunday, the 7th of April. Your application must be addressed to His Majesty the King. You are requested to send a signed cover letter that is accompanied by your CV and a recent passport-sized photo. Your application should preferably be sent electronically by sending an e-mail to gezaghebberbonaire@rijksdienstcn.com.

Should you so desire, you can also send your application via registered post to the (acting) Kingdom Representative. When doing so, “f.a.o. the Kingdom Representative” and “Confidential” must be mentioned on the envelope. The address is: postbus 338, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. You will receive written confirmation within four working days, whether your application is sent via e-mail or by post.

Processing personal data

In the interest of selection, personal data will be processed, including judicial data and a reference check. In the interest of processing judicial information and the reference check, applicants will be asked to sign a consent form that they will receive once their CV and cover letter have been received. Applicants will only be considered if they permit their judicial information to be accessed.

Processing will take place in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba Public Entities Act and the related legislation. Data will be stored in accordance with the legal retention period.

Contact

If you have any questions about the procedure or position, you can contact the secretariat of the Kingdom Representative by sending an e-mail to gezaghebberbonaire@rijksdienstcn.com or by calling +599 715 8304.

Job profile: Governor of Bonaire

1. Bonaire

Bonaire is an island in the Caribbean Sea and has a unique natural environment. The island is home to the Washington Slagbaai National Park, which is the largest national park in the Caribbean Netherlands. The island is renowned for the natural riches from the surrounding ocean.

The island has a rich and proud culture. The history of the island is still visible and tangible to this very day, although residents also have a keen eye on the future.

The island has undergone substantial growth in recent years when it comes to the number of residents as well as activities in the tourism sector.

2. Challenges facing Bonaire

The growth of Bonaire has presented a number of social, cultural and physical challenges for the island. One of the main challenges for Bonaire will involve effectively managing (already achieved) growth in the coming years.

While Bonaire has major ambitions and challenges, there is limited executive capacity on the island. Another of the main challenges will involve improving executive capacity and maintaining a balance between this capacity and the island's ambitions.

3. Core competenciesof the job profile

The Public Entity of Bonaire and the challenges that face the island require a governor who fulfils a number of vital roles:

Able to unite people:

The governor unites the community of Bonaire and bridges the divide between different groups in order to establish partnerships. One of the key requirements for the governor will be the ability to bridge contrasting views and bring parties together while respecting the role of each party. 

Independent:

The governor acts in a neutral manner, radiates authority and serves as a point of contact for all people and parties on Bonaire. The governor is approachable, and has a natural air of command, and a position that maintains sufficient distance from stakeholders. When doing so, the governor will also offer enough leeway to the political process wherever necessary.

Recognisable:

The governor must be aware of the political and administrative situation and act accordingly. The governor must be recognisable regardless of the various roles that he/she plays, such as civic leader or crisis manager. In the role of Chair of the Island Council and Executive Council, the governor will clearly serve as a neutral guardian of the process. In this regard, the governor will respect the political and administrative roles of groups within the Island Council and of the commissioners.

Integrity:

The governor will act clearly and transparently in accordance with generally accepted norms and values. The governor will closely and carefully monitor legal frameworks and procedures. The governor must have a solid moral compass, set a good example and actively radiate integrity awareness. The governor will, based on his/her various roles, not shy away from expecting the same from others within the Executive Council, the Island Council, the Public Entity or any other concerned parties.

Stress-resistant:

The governor must be able to act effectively under stress and during crises, and radiate calm and trust when doing so.

4. Expectations regarding the job

The governor as civic leader (burgermoeder/burgervader)

  • Closely involved with what happens on Bonaire.
  • Present during important events on the island.
  • Acts in a neutral manner towards all parties, is independent and is a governor of and for everyone.

The governor as Chair of the Island Council

  • Moderates and manages debate within the Island Council and facilitates effective decision-making while respecting the political role of the members of the Island Council and the role of the commissioners.
  • Professional and highly skilled. The governor must therefore have an excellent understanding of the laws, procedures and rules for chairing the meetings of the Island Council or be willing to carefully study them in depth and engage parties who can support and boost this understanding.
  • Has a feel for the various interests and opinions within the Island Council and for mutual relations (both interpersonal and political).
  • Plays a vital role as guardian of integrity.

The governor as Chair of the Executive Council

  • Leads the Executive Council as a team and facilitates excellent decision-making. 
  • Professional and highly skilled. The governor must therefore have an excellent understanding of the laws, procedures and rules required for decision-making within the Public Entity.
  • To this end, he/she respects all parties' responsibilities and gives the commissioners the freedom to fulfil their administrative and social responsibilities.
  • Ensures consensus about policy and unites parties in order to achieve this.

The governor as portfolio holder of public order, safety and security

  • Functions effectively and decisively in times of crisis.
  • In the event of emergencies, he/she demonstrates commitment towards victims, residents, emergency workers and any volunteers.

5. Other points for attention

The governor should have a strong and substantiated social connectedness to Bonaire or the Caribbean. The governor must have written and spoken command of both Dutch and Papiamentu. Knowledge of Spanish and English is an advantage.

Bonaire is one of three Caribbean islands with direct ties to the Netherlands. Knowledge of the Caribbean region is an important condition and the governor will closely monitor all relevant developments in the region that are important to Bonaire. 

The governor will be required to live and work on Bonaire and, upon appointment, must establish him/herself on the island if he/she has not already done so.

The aforementioned skills and competencies lay the foundations for the annual discussions between the Island Council and the governor.

A number of legal requirements also apply based on the Public Entities Act (Dutch: Wet openbare lichamen BES), including: Dutch citizenship (Article 75); ancillary activities (Article 79); incompatibilities (Article 80 and 82) and actual residence on Bonaire (Article 85).