PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten -The government of St. Maarten has reiterated its intention to review all consultancies to government and government-owned companies to ascertain whether the public resources (financial and human) are properly utilized.
Prime Minister William Marlin and Minister Emil Lee reinforced this point during the Council of Ministers Press Briefing on Wednesday, February 10. “I think that reviewing in general consultancy agreements for government and government-owned companies is one of the focusses of the Council of Ministers. So I think one of the questions would be why are we hiring consultants when perhaps we should be hiring employees with particular skillsets, and would that be a cost savings for government,” Minister Lee explained.
The issue came up after a journalist questioned the government as to whether it was ethical in accordance with GEBE’s policy in hiring a consultant, to have an office paid for by GEBE at a location upstairs Windward Islands Bank (WIB).
Prime Minister Marlin downplayed the issue noting that it is not government’s business to determine who GEBE hires or vetted for hiring, but rather whether the use of the consultant fell within the proper guidelines and policy of the company. “I would not know why a GEBE employee has an office above Windward Islands Bank. If GEBE has an employee that has an office outside of GEBE premises, the person to answer to that would be a) GEBE’s management and b) the Supervisory Board in terms of guys, are you aware of, and is this part of GEBE’s policy,” He said.
“GEBE employees are not consultants…Consultants can operate any and everywhere. Consultants can operate from their home,” he continued.
Source: 721 news Government reviewing consultancies