From left: Sol Petroleum General Manager for the North Caribbean David Antrobus, TEATT Minister Stuart Johnson, Member of Parliament for the National Alliance Egbert Jurendy Doran, and members of the TEATT Ministry’s Department of Inspection at a Sol gas station inspecting gasoline pumps to ensure that they are accurately calibrated for the dispensing of fuel.
PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Economic Affairs Stuart Johnson took Members of Parliament (MPs) and top local officials to SOL Petroleum in Madame Estate on a guided tour on Wednesday to see what is done by the Ministry’s inspectors during the control of businesses where calibration of machines is concerned.
After the visit to SOL Madame Estate, the working tour went to Dutch Quarter Pharmacy, a laundromat and a supermarket for a demonstration of their respective controls.
Controls are routinely carried out by six Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication TEATT Department of Inspection inspectors. They regularly carry out calibration and inspections of scales at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), all supermarkets, the gasoline pumps and other equipment used in the sale of goods and services.
According to Johnson on Wednesday, calibration has been a “hot button issue” for some MPs who have on numerous occasions expressed their belief that calibration should be handled by a department dedicated solely to providing this service to the community.
MPs Egbert Doran, Silveria Jacobs and Ardwell Irion were present for the tour.
Johnson maintained that his interest is in ensuring that consumers get what they pay for at a fair price. “This means that ensuring that the scales used to weigh food and the pumps at gas stations are always properly calibrated, especially when there is a price change. It also means ensuring that the proper price is applied to items being sold,” said Johnson.
Regarding the issue of having a department specifically dedicated to calibration of equipment, Johnson said he was concerned that there would not be sufficient activity for a department to specialise.
His position was further strengthened after a visit to Curaçao where he learnt that despite being a larger island, Curaçao’s Department of Economic Inspection Department is structured similarly to the department in St Maarten, and Curaçao does not have a department solely dedicated to calibration.
Johnson extended a follow-up visit to the local bakeries as well. He said his ministry had inherited several concerns that had been unaddressed for several years and are only now receiving the necessary attention.
The plan is to use social media and other forms of information-dissemination to inform the population about work being done by government’s Inspection Department.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/89246-minister-tours-businesses-with-mps-and-teatt-inspectors