PHILIPSBURG: — Minister of VSA Emil Lee tried to bring clarity about the press release sent on by the former chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors of USZV. Minister Lee said he has lots of respect for Dr. Petit who is a great professional in his field of medicine. However, the statements in the press release issued by Dr. Petit the Minister said that he only had three meetings with former chairman of the SOBD of USZV.
Minister Lee said that when met with the SOBD of USZV he said that Dr. Michel Petit asked a number of questions as to why he was undoing the process for the new hospital that involves VAMED. Minister Lee said when he informed the board that he wants to have a transparent bidding process conducted Dr. Petit he said suggested that he hire two external consultants to review the project cost to ensure that the cost is not inflated. Minister Lee said in that meeting he made clear that he is not against VAMED but he wants to make sure that the people of St. Maarten are getting the best value for their money and if after the bidding process, if its VAMIED that won the bid then it is fine with him, but his interest is ensure that the people’s money is well spent. He said he insisted that he does not see why a bidding process is hard to conduct and his only interest is to see the people’s money being spent responsibly and that he is committed a new hospital but wants to do it responsibly way. He said the former chairman was vehement with his suggestions with hiring two consultants to review the project.
Apart from that the Minister said that the SOBD has failed to conduct their duties in a timely manner, one being submitting candidates to him to be appointed on the SOBD, he said the one board member was nominated and appointed but there are still two vacant seats.
Another point Minister Lee mentioned was the failure to appoint a director of USZV in a timely manner and to appoint a deputy director which to date has not been appointed, a failure to submit annual reports for 2014 and 2015.
The Minister said there have been a number of issues that he has been consistently raising with the SOBD and he does not know if that can be considered as over-reaching and undue influence, which in his view is not true. The Minister made clear that the SOBD has a responsibility to ensure that the board is adhering to their obligations. He felt that informing them in writing is his job. He said at no point the SBOD indicated to him that he was overstepping his boundaries. The Minister said that the Chairman of SBOD do has a responsibility the funds but at no point he did not indicate such, he said based on the release from the former chairman stated that he will file a complaint to protect himself and not the people or their monies.
When asked by SMN News for clarifications, one being is if the Minister has performance contract with the current director, the Minister said that contract is in its final stages and will soon be signed off. He further stated that is the first time such a contract is going into effect. As per the candidates for the SBOD, the Minister said that the SBOD submitted the names of six candidates, two for each positions. He said one of the candidates was screened but her employer did not allow her to take on the job, the second candidate he said also passed the screening but her employer did not allow her to take the position on the SBOD of USZV as for the third candidate the Minister said did not meet the requirements and as such that person could not be appointed.
Asked if there is purchase agreement with USZV and the government of St. Maarten for the Government Administration Building, the Minister referred the question to the Minister of Finance Richard Gibson Sr. who said there are agreements in place and the purchase agreement still has to fine-tuned with the lawyers of USZV, government and the notary (that meeting is scheduled for Wednesday August 24th). Minister Gibson said that the agreements include the work that are being done on the building, he said that agreement along with the lease agreement and the deed to transfer the building is what they are busy finalizing with the lawyers and notary, however, the Minister of Finance maintained that there are agreements in place between USZV and government.
Source: St. Martin News Network
SOBD of USZV accused of not doing your job in a timely manner — Minister Lee.