~ Presentation will be made to Parliament. ~
Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion informed parliament on Tuesday that the previous government of St. Maarten has decided to launch an investigation into the operation of the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF). The Minister said that the Jacobs 2 cabinet decided to continue the process and the auditing of SCDF. The Minister said after several complaints were filed by stakeholders to the government and parliament and the third party was enlisted to investigate which is now complete and a presentation will be made to the parliament of St. Maarten since at least four members of parliament posed questions about the carnival.
Irion said the focus of the investigation was on accountability and transparency within the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation. He said the investigation went way back when carnival started and the persons that were involved and the current state of affairs.
The Minister of Finance assured that carnival 2023 will be funded through its subsidy, however, the government is busy working on a strategy for how they would want to see the carnival managed for 2023.
Discrepancies found were a lack of procedural transparency unfair and unbalanced contractual practices with booth allocations, limited accountability, and insights into the finances of SCDF. A lack of cultural incorporation of cultural aspects, safety and security of residents and visitors, and lack of transparency of sales and distribution of carnival passes.
The Minister of finance said that it has been recommended to the government not to tender carnival 2023 due to the lack of time.