Independent MP Richardson wants investigation controller Economic Affairs – MPs want justice for former PSS-director

POSTED: 02/27/13 1:57 PM

St. Maarten – Justice for former managing director Denicio Richardson at Postal Services St. Maarten PSS and serious questions and even a call for an investigation into the involvement of the controller at the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Affairs Alex Richardson formed the highlights of the second part of a central committee meeting yesterday afternoon.

Independent MP Frans Richardson asked whether it is legal for a civil servant to be employed at a company at the same time. Without mentioning him by name, he identified the person he was referring to as the controller at the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Affairs. That is Alex Richardson, the controller who discovered last year that PSS managing director Denicio Richardson had overstepped his authority by signing an 8,000-guilders check for the purchase of several computers for the company.

MP Richardson said that the controller had received 13,478 guilders (a bit more than $7,500) from PSS and that no taxes were withheld from this amount, while it included vacation pay. “If this is not legal I will call for an investigation into this matter,” MP Richardson said.

The MP and independent MPs Romain Laville and Patrick Illidge all called for proper compensation for the managing director who was first suspended and who later resigned from PSS. According to the MPs he did nothing wrong.”He could have signed two checks of 4,000 guilders each,” Laville said.

“He did not use the money for travel or other purposes, he used it to buy computers the company needed.”

MP Illidge went back to the cars and the computers the predecessor of PSS, Nieuwe Post Nederlandse Antillen, took away from the facility in St. Maarten last year among the “loot” were fifteen cars, computers and documents. “Is the NPA done plundering? It was their hostility and the lack of resistance from the supervisory board that created the problem, not the managing director.”

MP Frans Richardson wondered “why are we so quick taking down one of our own for doing the right thing. Why would a young St. Maartener tender his resignation: because the board frustrated him enough, or because he could not carry the burden any longer without support? The board was negligent in taking over this managing director without a proper agreement. They created this mess.”

MP Laville also supported the departed PSS-director. “I don’t see that any of his actions were unlawful. He also should have had the opportunity to defend his position in a shareholders meeting. Procedures based on the articles of incorporation have not been followed.”
Laville said he did not see any valid grounds for the suspension of the managing director, an event that eventually led to his resignation. And in 24 months we could not find a proper contract for him? We don’t have the testicular fortitude to stand up against this,” he complained. “This young man deserves proper compensation. What happened here is appalling and shameful.”

MP Gracita Arrindell asked whether the ousted managing director would get a second chance in the sense that he would be given the opportunity to apply for the position again.

The meeting opened with answers from Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Sarah Wescot-Williams – the shareholder representative for PSS – to questions that were posed in an earlier meeting about this issue.

The minister said that there was no advice from the Corporate Governance Council about the remuneration of the managing director and that this is the reason no settlement was reached.

The quick scan at PSS by the government accountant bureau Soab has been completed, but the financial information has not been audited yet, Wescot-Williams said. She suggested to discuss the financial information at a later date in a closed session after the information has been audited.

The minister said that the land on which the post office is located has been transferred to PSS and that it thereby has also become the owner of the building. The transfer still has to be notarized. This process is pending awaiting a payment of approximately 20,000 guilders by PSS.

Wescot-Williams said that PSS has an outstanding debt of 119,000 guilders with NPNA.

She pointed out that there was an agreement between PSS and NPNA about the items the latter took away from the facility last year. “NPNA made a list of all assets and PSS was asked what it wanted to keep. PSS passed on several assets because they were considered too expensive.”

 

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