PHILIPSBURG:--- NV GEBE, hereby represented as per article 2:11 Civil Code and article 8 paragraph 11 of its Articles of Incorporation, by its Supervisory Board of NV GEBE took note of the incorrect information reported via a media blog last Saturday, February 8th, 2020.
In an article on Saint Martin News Network, with as title ‘Exclusive: GEBE Management team given another six months extension to finalize WIB loan’ the following incorrect and as such disputed statements were made:
“Sources say as much as 35 persons applied for the coveted positions, including the current management team CEO Kenrick Chittick, CFO Iris Arrindell, and COO Veronica Webster, also it's Chief Internal Auditor Sharine Daniel, Andrew Zagers GEBE finance manager. Other persons that also applied are former Minister of TEATT Ted Richardson, and former COO of GEBE Romellio Maduru, Patrick Drijvers, Giovani Williams, Ramiro Hernandez, and others.”
These statements are incorrect and as such categorically repudiated by NV GEBE and its Supervisory Board of Directors, that has been contacted meanwhile by various persons mentioned in referenced article, with the notification that they at no point in time applied for any function within NV GEBE. These persons, whose names are withheld by – the Supervisory Board of Directors of - NV GEBE, out of respect for their privacy and in keeping with the principles of diligence, are together with NV GEBE logically disappointed by this incorrect media publication. At a minimum, it causes inconvenience for them and unjustly/unnecessarily reflects negatively on the ongoing recruitment procedure, by incorrectly creating the appearance that confidential data about the recruitment process has leaked.
NV GEBE, again represented by its Supervisory Board of Directors, did not even divulge to the Shareholder of NV GEBE, the names of the applicants for the upcoming vacant functions, nor was this information solicited by the Shareholder. The Shareholder of NV GEBE was only told how many persons (the quantity) applied, so far.
The general public should note that the Recruitment Process for the best suitable candidate for the upcoming vacancies for Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for NV GEBE, is being handled, as per the specific mandate/consent of the Shareholder of NV GEBE, by an International Consultant Firm. This process is very advanced and has the deadline to submit applications ended on January 31st, 2020. This, considering the initial expiry date of the service agreement with the current members of the Management Board of NV GEBE as per April 30th, 2020.
The process is guarded by the appropriate norms of secrecy and confidentiality, ultimately also to safeguard the best interest of all applicants and ultimately to be able to realize that the best possible candidates are found for referenced upcoming vacancies. Logically, this serves NV GEBE and therewith our entire Sint Maarten community.
NV GEBE, being the sole electricity and water provider for Sint Maarten, caters to the basic human needs of the Sint Maarten Public. It’s imperative for this company to be manned and directed by the best possible candidates, after a duly concluded recruitment process. The Supervisory Board of Directors has for the longest of time been working tirelessly to ensure that the systems of checks and balances in place by law, the articles of incorporation of NV GEBE and the Corporate Governance Code, are adhered to by all organs of NV GEBE and stakeholders. This, to ensure that NV GEBE functions according to best practices, in an honest, professional manner. The proper functioning of NV GEBE is at the end of the day crucial for the Sint Maarten community.
Also as such, on July 29th, 2019, the Supervisory Board of Directors of NV GEBE formally informed the Shareholder of NV GEBE in writing of its intention to start the recruitment for the functions of the members of the Management Board of NV GEBE, as their three-year contracted term was nearing completion on October 31st, 2019. Same intention and recommendation of the Supervisory Board of Directors of NV GEBE was by the way extensively discussed with the Shareholder of NV GEBE, before.
Considering, amongst others, that NV GEBE is the only government-owned company that over the years has not conducted a - proper - recruitment procedure for the selection of the members of its Management Board, the Supervisory Board of Directors considered/considers it advisable and prudent to carry out a transparent recruitment process as per article 7.4 of the Articles of Incorporation of NV GEBE. This decision was/is also premised on other valid concerns in the best interest of the organization.
On October 21st, 2019, - the Supervisory Board of Directors of - NV GEBE obtained permission from the Shareholder of NV GEBE to immediately commence the recruitment process.
NV GEBE then contracted as stated an external independent company to execute the recruitment of the referenced Management Board functions.
On January 13th, 2020, the vacancies were placed in the various news and social media outlets on Sint Maarten, the former Netherlands Antilles and in the Netherlands. The general public of in all these territories is hereby informed that following a decision of the Shareholder of NV GEBE dated February 6th, 2020, the functions of Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer will no longer become vacant on May 1st, 2020, but instead on November 1st, 2020. The recruitment procedure has however not been extended. This means that no new applications can be submitted since the deadline of January 31st, 2020, has passed.
As soon as the applications received on/or before January 31st, 2020, have been duly evaluated and the recruitment procedure completed, nominations for the three (3) Management Board functions will be made to the Shareholder of NV GEBE, for consideration in its appointment decision.
The Supervisory Board of Directors of NV GEBE is requesting the patience and respect of the media outlets and the public to allow the process to follow its due course.
On behalf of NV GEBE,
Mr. Bienvenido Richardson (Chairman Supervisory Board of Directors)
Editor’s Note: The publication of the recruitment process was to take place several times in 2019 which the former government stopped. Former Prime Minister Wycliffe Smith is the one that paved the way for the recruitment process to take place and while a date was set for January 6th, 2020 for the publication, it was held back due to the January 9th Parliamentary Elections, this was done because certain politicians that were contesting the January 2020 parliamentary elections requested the postponement which the Chairman agreed to without referring to the Articles of Incorporation.
Besides that, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board chose to react to an article that has accurate information deeming it as inaccurate but fails to mention the wheeling and dealing that took place within GEBE during the January 2020 Election Campaign. Richardson failed to inform the public of St. Maarten about the hundreds of job interviews that were conducted while there were no vacancies within the company. At least none of which were published. Those that conducted the interviews promised those applicants jobs if they vote for the politician that appointed Bienvenido Richardson to the Supervisory Board of GEBE, it is incumbent on the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GEBE to uphold good governance and not to allow his friends within the company to dupe people for political mileage.