Sarah wants meeting on government’s plans to construct new parliament building | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - “During my stay in the Netherlands, information reached me regarding the tender or rather invitation to tender, issued on behalf the government of St. Maarten, it would appear”, Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams explained in a press release on Wednesday evening.

“There is a so-called ad hoc committee of parliament that deals with the preparation and construction of a new building for parliament. This committee has been in existence for a while and discussions regarding a new parliament building have been taken place in this committee for years now. it is one of the few committees that I am not member of, in fact I believe it might be the only committee I am not a member of”, the MP added.

As always when information is not forthcoming, the country is abuzz with stories regarding this plan by the government of St. Maarten. What the general public knows, is what was gleaned from media reports.

What I did upon my return is request of the parliamentary committee, which is chaired by MP William Marlin to have a meeting of the committee to discuss what exactly it is that has been put out there by the government of St. Maarten, that includes 3 phases and the first one regards the construction of a new parliament building, MP Wescot continued.

I have also requested the committee chair to convene the meeting as soon as possible, because of the deadline of June 9th for submission of documents in the advertisement.

“I hope that with the many queries that are out there regarding this undertaking, in addition to, I as member of parliament asking for a meeting of the committee, the government and whichever other persons are involved in this process are very cautious in proceeding without giving at least the parliament of St. Maarten insight into to what is taking place. Who is involved, what does it entail and what are the financial implications?”

“In my view, the government, before they could have made such an invitation, must have some kind of financial picture, some kind of financial outlook; they should have an idea as to who they would be working with on this project and who potential partners are. It cannot be that government opens up such a proposal and leaves it totally to be filled in by those who are going to be preparing the bidding process.”

But, the MP continued, it’s a lot of guessing from me right now because I don't have all of the information and can only go by what the government has put out, and then of course you hear so many different accounts surrounding this particular matter.

As a member of parliament therefore my approach is one of requesting information from the government as they are supposed to give account to parliament, and I am asking for the minister of VROMI to be present in the meeting in order to provide answers to the questions that members of parliament have. In fact, I believe the Prime Minister as well should be called to give account and allay the many concerns that exist, the MP concluded her statement.