MPs and their relatives stand to benefit
PHILIPSBURG:— On Wednesday the Parliament of St. Maarten passed a motion to prohibit the caretaker Council of Ministers from granting any contracts including garbage collection contracts to anyone until the incoming Council of Ministers takes office. On the same day the Governor of St. Maarten cautioned the Council of Ministers in his meeting with them to only work on pending matters and nothing new since they are a caretaker government who eventually made their positions available 28 days after they received a motion of no confidence from the Parliament of St. Maarten.
Despite the motion passed in Parliament on Wednesday October 28th and the advice from the Governor of St. Maarten to the Council of Ministers, the Minister of VROMI Claret Connor seems hell bent on doing what he wants and continues to sign off on contracts. On Friday, October 30th 2015 Minister Connor signed off the approval to extend contracts for four companies, two of which belonged to close relatives of two Members of Parliament from the UPP faction and one for Clean St Maarten, best friend and business partner of the UPP leader Theodore Heyliger.
While the Minister extended the contracts he quoted parts of the advice given by VROMI which stated that the garbage collection should be spread out in order to offer young local entrepreneurs the opportunity to make money. Some eight contractors submitted their request at VROMI but the Minister somehow failed to heed the advice given, further to that he stated that the last time the garbage collection contracts were signed off was for a period of ten years. Based on SMN News archives the contracts were extended for a period of five years and not ten as stated by Minister Claret Connor. Another process that must be followed is bidding but in this case no bidding was held even though the head of VROMI Louis Brown had everything in place for the past seven months for the bidding process to be held.
The advice clearly is misleading and also clearly shows that the Minister does not intend to follow the rule of law.
It would have done the Minister good to not “lie” and state that there are 14 contractors being proposed to do garbage collection when in reality its only eight.
A source at VROMI said 14 contracts where being made available for the young entrepreneurs in the various neighborhoods to do road side cleaning and district cleaning for which no serious investment is needed other than manpower and some equipment. But clearly the selected few (father of an MP, brother of an MP and naturally the leaders drinking buddy company) must be protected.
Also it must be clearly noted that the advice to tender could have been handled a longtime ago to ensure the prospective bidders for garbage collection would have ample time to get proper financing at the bank. By stalling this as the Minister is well aware the governor will not sign this decree he’s only creating an unfavorable position for those prospective bidders for garbage collection.
What’s also very remarkable is the fact that the Minister spoke about protecting the investments the haulers made while they kept upgrading the service. The last time these contracts were extended (fixed) was in 2010 by the UPP leader Theodore Heyliger, the decree was officially signed off by the Governor of St. Maarten for a period of five years in 2011 by the Governor of St. Maarten.
Also what is remarkable the Minister single handedly insinuates that the ministry has no clue on what they are doing but he suddenly became an expert in housing and spatial plannng.
Hopefully, the Minister will explain the people of St. Maarten why he went ahead and approved the extension of contracts for four contractors all of whom are related to Members of Parliament.
- All Waste in Place
- Leonard Enterprises N.V
- Meadowland N.V
- Clean St. Maarten.
Source: St. Martin News Network EXCLUSIVE: Minister of VROMI Extends Garbage Contracts for four Garbage Collectors, No Public Bidding Held.