Too many controversies between the supervisory board and shareholder.
PHILIPSBURG:--- Leader of the Democratic Party and Chairlady of Parliament Sarah Wescot Williams did not mingle with words on Thursday when she told members of the medial that the Supervisory Board of GEBE should do the honorable thing and make their positions available to government. The DP leader who forms part of the current coalition said that the saga at GEBE has been going on way too long and government, (not only the current coalition) but other governments have not been on the same wave length with the members of the Supervisory Board. She said the company has a number of positions on the managerial board that has to be filled and in order to do such there needs to be some tranquility at the Government owned company.
Asked on what grounds the Supervisory Board should tender their resignation or make their positions available, and if there are any proof wrongdoings by the members of the supervisory board or if she they believe the supervisory board members are politically affiliated? Wescot Williams said that it has more to do with the relation between governments and the supervisory board and the different sagas that took place over the past months, one being the “Maduro saga”. She said in her opinion because of those issues the supervisory board of directors should say its enough and thus make their positions available. Asked if the Supervisory Board had not taken the necessary actions when they found out about the mismanagement of the company’s funds and did not act if they would not have been held liable? Wescot Williams said she did not want those types of details. Her main point is if there is a government owned company and there are issues between the Supervisory Board and the Shareholder, then the honorable thing to do is to forget as to who is right from wrong and move on.
Wecot Williams said the issues at GEBE has been ongoing for quite some time now between members of the current coalition. She said she fully supports the statements made by government with respect with GEBE which she said is clear in terms of what needs to happen and the approach that has to be taken. She assured that as Member of Parliament that is supporting the current coalition the situation at GEBE has her undivided attention. Wescot Williams said on her way home on Wednesday she saw a number of GEBE employees outside and when she enquired what was going on she said she was informed by the workers that they were awaiting the arrival of the Prime Minister William Marlin whom they said needed to inform them of what was going on with the company they are working for, especially since some politicians has taken the issues at GEBE to create some amount of panic among the workers. One being the accusations that were levied against government that they are seeking funds from GEBE in order to destroy the company. Wescot Williams said because of the loose and unfounded statements made by certain politicians it gave the employees reason to demand answers from government, in addition to all the other issues at GEBE. She confirmed that Prime Minister did spoke to the workers in her presence. She said during that open air meeting it was clear that the workers wanted answers especially regarding the monies government requested from GEBE. It should be noted that the government of St. Maarten requested a loan of NAF20M from the water reserves monies which is fully owned by the government, this she said is separate from the funds generated from electricity. Wescot Williams said she advised government that whatever they do with regards to the financial relationship that it is done in accordance with the corporate governance principles even though they are shareholders they needed to follow certain principles and guidelines.
Wescot Williams looking at ways to broaden the scope of the Constitutional Court.
The chairlady of parliament said that one of the things she is looking to get done is to broaden the scope of the Constitutional Court, one being where they could intervene in matters such as disputes between the governor and government, parliament and government or even with Ministers. She said she discussed this matter with Judge Bob Wit and he felt broadening their scope of work was not a bad idea.
On other matters the chairlady of Parliament said one of her intentions is to curb or properly organize the central committee meetings, in order to keep it to the point and not allow Members of Parliament to have the entire process drawn out for days or long periods.
While she admitted that there is no speakers’ time at Central Committee meetings she believes that she could better organize it so that the process goes faster.
Wescot Williams further gave an update on the St. Maarten Medical Center where Minister Emil Lee has sought to have the bidding process of the new hospital which she assured is not off the books.