PHILIPSBURG–“As far as I know there is no agreement with this company,” stated Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman on Wednesday during the weekly Council of Ministers press briefing when asked about Fennix Global Technologies’ recent claim that the Justice Ministry owes it US $240,000 for electronic ankle bracelets used by the Pointe Blanche prison.
Fennix Global Technologies plans to take legal action against the Government of
St. Maarten for not honouring its 2015 commitment for the maintenance and upgrade of 25 electronic ankle bracelets purchased by the Pointe Blanche prison on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.
The company, which is situated in several territories, said in June that the Justice Ministry owes close to US $240,000 in outstanding fees for these devices. The company has a three-year contract with the Ministry signed by former Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson and Pointe Blanche prison Director Edward Rohan in 2015. The Daily Herald obtained a copy of the contract.
However, Boasman said on Wednesday that there is no contact between the company and his ministry.
“I don’t want to say too much on the issue, because the company had indicated that they will bring Government to court. There was an agreement and it was terminated because parties were not happy with the service provided. This was before I became Minister. I arrived and the company made the agreements public,” said Boasman.
Boasman is disputing the company’s claim and he said he does not want to discuss the issue further in the media.
Fennix Global Technologies is one of seven companies in the world dedicated to design, develop, manufacture and implement technological solutions for the Criminal Justice industry. Fennix’s Criminal Justice Division, which operates under the trademark brand monitorINMATES, has current successful projects in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Puerto Rico with both its Pro-Active Tracking (PAT) and Prisons Electronic Management (PEM) modules.
Fennix Global Technologies founder and Chief Executive Officer Chey Rodriguez said he does not understand why the Minister or his cabinet is not returning his messages.
The 25 units are not being used at present. Boasman continues to not answer Rodriguez’ messages and said there has been no communications on his part. He did not give the reason during the press briefing.
In a letter to Boasman in July, Rodriguez wrote, “I have written countless communications to yourself and your Ministry, always in pursuit of an amicable solution. My company is owed today the sum of $240,000 US dollars, without late payment charges. My intentions are not to pursue legal actions, which I am ready to do and my local (SXM) lawyer Hendrich Seferina is here copied on this correspondence.
“As a last communication, I have decided to give you the courtesy of the agreement signed by then-Minister of Justice Mr. Dennis Richardson and by the Project Manager of the electronic monitoring programme, Edward Rohan (also copied here). Article 12 speaks on … grounds for termination, which in our case there is no: a). breach of contract; b). act of God; or c). mutual agreement.
“Article 13 speaks in regard to modifications, which enables the addendum signed by Mr. Edward Rohan on May 25, 2016, extending our agreement until 2023. This will mean that if you … wish to cancel our agreement, we will be talking of a termination cost in upwards of $1,000,000 dollars.
“My position is the following: 1. Receive the amount owed to my company as of today, US $240,000, without late payment fees. 2. Save the Ministry of Justice thousands of dollars by establishing the electronic programme which is permitted by the law in SXM. 3. Establish the telephone system and digital currency programme for your prison. 4. Train and certify all of the personnel if necessary.”
Rodriguez received no response.
Boasman added that he will be looking elsewhere for the possibility of electronic monitoring ankle bracelets.