Bonaire is a Public Authority and belongs, under constitutional law, to the Netherlands, which means that the government and the Upper and Lower House also govern Bonaire. Bonaire has two government authorities, which are both represented on the island. In addition to the Central Government (which has its seat in The Hague, in the Netherlands), Bonaire has its own Local Government called the OLB (Bonaire Public Authority).

The Local Government (OLB)

The OLB is comprised of three parts: the Island Council (in which the island’s elected representatives have a seat), the Executive Council (in which the island’s members of the Island Executive have a seat and who, jointly with the Lieutenant Governor, form the administrative power) and the civil service, which is divided into various directorates (and is the executive power).

The Central Government

The Central Government has various ministries who have certain authority and are charged with certain tasks concerning the island. Some ministries actually have an office on the island with one or more people working there (such as the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, who have an office called the Zorgverzekeringskantoor (Healthcare Insurance Office); the Ministry of Finance has the CN Tax Administration Office and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment).

The cooperation between the two government authorities is not always ideal, often because certain tasks are rolled out over several ministries or divided between the Local (OLB) and Central Government. Businesses will soon notice this, due to the various “desks” they are obliged to visit to arrange their affairs, which is frequently time-consuming, particularly considering the small scale of the island. On the other hand, it creates opportunities, as the laws and regulations arise from the stability of the Dutch system, which means that transparency and proper administrations are priorities.

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