The government will have to compensate INSO if they lose completely.
PHILIPSBURG:— The Court of First Instance in its ruling on Friday, November 25th in the injunction filed by VAMED against USZV, slammed USZV, KMPG SMMC and the Minister of VSA Emil Lee with the way the bidding procedure was conducted for the construction of the New Hospital. Judge Van Rijen clearly pointed out in his ruling that the bid submitted by INSO was abnormally low, and that USZV and the committee that evaluated the bids went against their own tender instructions and the general principles of law regarding bidding procedures and totally disregarded good governance. The judge stated that the DBM bidding requirements for INSO were much lower than mentioned in the tender instructions as were the requirements for the medical equipment.
The judge also stated in his ruling that USZV did not respect the tender instructions regarding the transfer of medical equipment’s to SMMC, but instead USZV transferred the entire project to SMMC. While they made the transfer to SMMC, USZV did not notify the other two bidders especially VAMED, even though they had submitted an appeal and got a late response from USZV. The judge further stated that USZV knowingly and willfully neglected (disregarded) the appeal until the day the contract was signed with INSO.
During the court procedure USZV denied the court the transfer agreement between USZV and SMMC and also the contract SMMC and INSO signed, therefore it is not clear to the court whether USZV had taken the necessary precautions in the event VAMED had won the appeal procedure and any other legal procedure. The court also does not know if there is anything in the contract that will allow USZV to annul the contract with INSO, all of which according to the judge are risks and accounts taken by USZV.
The court prohibits USZV to directly or indirectly close any agreement with INSO for the construction of the New Hospital. The judge also prohibited the execution of the signed agreement while also banning USZV from cooperating in the execution of the signed agreements. Should USZV violate any of the conditions set by the court in its ruling they have a penalty of $1M for each violation which can go up to a maximum of $25M.
The Minister of VSA, Emil Lee said in a press conference back then when asked by SMN News if government was protected from liability should the INSO contract be cancelled, that there was a clause in the contract that will protect the government of St. Maarten since there is no financing in place, however, SMN News learned from well-placed sources that the government of St. Maarten will have to pay INSO a huge sum of money if the DBM contract for the New Hospital has to be annulled
Based on the judgment rendered on Friday it is clear that the bidding committee ((KMPG, Jeroen Veen, Ministry VSA, SMMC and Royal Haskoning) manipulated the bidding procedures in order to favor INSO while the scoring in the bidding procedures was incorrect. SMN News highlighted some of these in a previous article, which has been sanctioned by Judge Van Rijen. (http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/23651-vamed-asking-court-to-impose-10m-on-uszv-in-the-event-they-does-not-comply-with-court-verdict.html?highlight=WyJ2YW1lZCIsInZhbWVkJ3MiXQ==)
Clearly, the contract that was signed late at night at SMMC without any reporters present to ask questions was just a political stunt pulled by the Minister of VSA Emil Lee days before the September 26th elections at the expense of USZV and government.
It should be noted that the Director of USZV went to Austria to meet with the CEO of VAMED even though USZV did not follow the law by holding a tender process to construct the New Hospital. Due to that trip the CEO of VAMED boarded a private jet and shook hands when they signed off on a gentlemen’s agreement, all of which was overlooked when the current Minister took office and decided to halt the negotiations with VAMED and to hold a tender process, but instead of following the letter of the law, they all manipulated the procedure in the interest of INSO.
Source: St. Martin News Network
EXCLUSIVE: Judge slams USZV, KMPG, Minister of VSA and SMMC with the New Hospital bidding procedure — USZV ordered not to proceed, $1M violation up to a maximum of $25M.