Complaint Policy

 NR.: 2017/03

Complaint Form


Having considered:

  • The Director of the Bureau for Intellectual Property oversees the policy and management of the Bureau;
  • That a complaint may be filed regarding the conduct of the Bureau for Intellectual Property;
  • That a complaint should be handled transparently and consistently;
  • That the Director of the Bureau for Intellectual Property has therefore drawn up a complaint policy for this purpose.

 having regard to:

Article 4, first paragraph, National ordinance Office for Intellectual Property.


Chapter 1 General Provisions

Article 1 Definitions

  1. The Bureau: The Bureau for Intellectual Property.
  2. The Board: The Supervisory Board of the Bureau for Intellectual Property.
  3. Director: Vincentia Rosen-Sandiford, the Director of the Bureau for Intellectual Property.
  4. Evaluator: a person designated for that purpose.

Artikel 2 Evaluator

  1. The evaluator may be appointed, suspended, or dismissed by the Director, after hearing the Board.
  2. The evaluator may not be an employee or other hired employee of the Bureau or fulfil a function as referred to in Article 10 National ordinance Bureau for Intellectual Property.
  3. The evaluator has knowledge and experience in the field of either economics or law or accountancy, as well as of the Sint Maarten society.
  4. The evaluator receives a gross compensation of (Naf 250) per processed complaint.
  5. If the evaluator has not been appointed, the Director may appoint a person to deal with a specific complaint.
  6. The Bureau can only give an evaluator general instructions on how to deal with the evaluation of complaints.

Article 3 Right of complaint

  1. Everyone shall have the right to lodge a complaint with the Bureau, concerning the conduct of the Bureau towards him or another person in a particular matter.
  2. Conduct of a person acting under the responsibility of the Bureau shall be regarded as conduct of the Bureau.

Chapter 2 Complaint process and conditions

Article 4 Complaint handling

  1. The Bureau shall ensure the proper handling of oral and written complaints concerning its conduct and the conduct of persons or entities working under its responsibility.
  2. The complaint is handled by the evaluator.
  3. The Bureau monitors the timely handling of a complaint.

Article 5 Requirements complaint

  1. A complainant may be assisted by a representative. 
  2. A complaint is filed in English or Dutch and contains:
  • the name, address, and telephone number of the complainant;
  • a clear definition of the conduct against which the complaint is directed;
  • if applicable, a description of the employee against whom the complaint is directed;
  • a description of where, when and against whom the conduct took place;
  • the reason why the complainant feels affected by the conduct;
  • date.
  1. The complaint can be submitted by e-mail or by regular mail. The Bureau shall make available and publish on its website an e-mail address specially created for this purpose and a website form.
  2. A complainant has the possibility to lodge a complaint orally. An employee of the Bureau records the complaint using the website form and has the complainant sign it.
  3. The evaluator shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint in writing.

Article 6 Inform person about whom the complaint has been filed

A copy of the complaint as well as the accompanying documents will be sent to the person to whom the complaint relates. 

Article 7 Hearing the complainant

  1. The evaluator shall give the complainant and the person to whom the complaint relates to the opportunity to be heard.
  2. Hearing of the complainant may be waived if:
    1. the complaint is manifestly unfounded,
    2. the complainant has stated that he does not wish to exercise the right to be heard, or
    3. the complainant does not declare, within a reasonable period set by the evaluator that he wishes to exercise the right to be heard.
    4. the complainant was not heard because of the complainant’s repeated failure to appear at an agreed time and date. 
  3. The hearing shall be recorded.

Article 8 Processing deadline

  1. The evaluator shall deal with the complaint within four weeks after receipt of the complaint.
  2. The evaluator may postpone the processing for a maximum of four weeks. Notice of the adjournment shall be given in writing to the complainant and to the person concerned.
  3. Further delay is possible if the complainant agrees in writing.

Article 9 Publication complaints

Registered complaints are published annually in the annual report.

Chapter 3 Judgments about complaint

Article 10 Satisfaction complaint

  1. Once the Bureau has satisfied the complainant's complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant, the obligation to further apply the obligation to continue to apply these rules will lapse.
  2. Satisfaction is demonstrated by an unambiguous communication from the complainant.

Article 11 Informal handling of a complaint

  1. If possible and with the explicit consent of the complainant, a complaint may also be dealt with informally by the evaluator.
  2. The complainant is informed in writing and with reasons of the informal handling.

Article 12 Inadmissibility of the complaint

The complaint may be declared inadmissible if a requirement as set out in Article 5 has not been met, provided that the complainant has had the opportunity to remedy the failure within a period of four weeks set for that purpose.

Article 13 Not handling a complaint

  1. The evaluator cannot deal with a complaint if it pertains to one incident:
  1. in respect of which a complaint has already been lodged and which has been dealt with in accordance with these rules;
  2. which has taken place more than one year before the lodging of the complaint;
  3. against which the complainant can or could have initiated an objection or appeal procedure as referred to in the ‘Landsverordening administratieve rechtspraak’ [National ordinance administrative procedures] or before the civil court
  4. as long as there is an investigation under the order of the public prosecutor or a prosecution, or if the conduct forms part of the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence and an investigation under the order of the public prosecutor or a prosecution of that offence is in progress.
  1. The evaluator is not obliged to deal with the complaint if the interest of the complainant or the weight of the conduct is manifestly insufficient.
  2. The complainant shall be informed, in writing and with reasons, of the non-treatment of the complaint as soon as possible but no later than four weeks after receipt of the complaint.

Article 14 Content of the complaint

  1. The evaluator shall inform the complainant, in writing and with reasons, of the findings of the investigation into the complaint, of his opinion thereon and of any conclusions it draws from it.
  2. The notification shall specify the period within which the complainant may subsequently submit a petition to the Ombudsman, as referred to in Article 78, paragraph two, of the Constitution.

Article 15 No appeal

No appeal may be brought against a decision on the handling of a complaint concerning the conduct of the Bureau.

Chapter 4 Amendments and notifications

Article 16 Amendments policies and notifications

  1. Changes to this policy shall be submitted by the Director to the Supervisory Board for its opinion before any change takes effect.
  2. The Board receives a copy of the policy as established.

Signed on July 6th, 2017, by the Director

Bureau for Intellectual Property