POND ISLAND–Government is yet to file its hurricane damage insurances claims.
Adjustors were flown in from the Netherlands to assist Government with its report, but, “local input” is needed to complete the assignment, caretaker Finance Minister Richard Gibson Sr. told Parliament Tuesday afternoon. He was before the legislature to wrap up a discussion about the state of Government’s finances.
The report will be worked on with insurance companies.
Government-owned companies have indicated that they expect pay-outs from their insurance companies in the near future, the Minister said. The companies, as separate entities, are insured independently from Government.
Government-owned companies, like Government itself, are “struggling” financially. Utilities company GEBE has already written to Government indicating it will have “challenges paying out” its dividends and concession fees from now to 2019, Gibson Sr. told MPs.
Despite its struggles, Government has to do its part in the country’s recovery and one such effort is the planned roof-rebuilding project. This venture is tagged at some NAf. 3 million and is “still to be finalised.”
Answering queries from several Members of Parliament about why Government had opted to procure materials for the roof project via an off-shore company based in Florida, the Minister said this was “due to rampant price-gouging” locally, among other factors. He cited an instance of zinc sheet priced at some US $42 per sheet jumping to more than $100 post-Hurricane Irma.
The quote from IKGN International Inc. was “substantially lower” than those received from two local companies, according to Gibson Sr.
Government is the responsible entity for monitoring and tackling price-gouging. Before and after Hurricane Irma, Economic Affairs Minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher urged the community to report all instances of price-gouging to her ministry.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71807-govt-insurance-claim-not-yet-filed