PM looks at Telem and postal service – Advice on partnership TelEm to be completed in November

POSTED: 09/27/12 11:54 AM

St. Maarten – On Friday, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams plans to sit in a shareholders meeting of the Telem Group of Companies. Wescot-Williams sits on the board, as government representative of the struggling telecommunications company which wants to rebrand itself as the St. Maarten Telecommunication Operation Company N.V. (SMTOC)

The company had to retrench workers in June as part of its restructuring to remain viable.

“To make the company processes more efficient, reduce the manpower levels, make the company lean and mean and also to place employees in correct “best fit” positions within the company,” were some of the reasons Telem gave for the retrenchment.

The prime minister said that restructuring of the telecommunications company is yet to be completed but has made progress.

While she did not confirm the company or companies that have approached TelEm for a partnership agreement, the Prime Minister said that the month of November had been set “for a finalization of a final advice on the partnership, with whom and under what conditions.”

It has been widely speculated that Caribbean mobile provider Digicel may be given the nod, since it has been in confidential negotiations with TelEm for a number of months now. Local competitor, UTS has also been identified for a merger with TelEm.

The prime minister also represents government in Postal Services St.Maarten (PSS) N.V. She indicated that she has received sporadic complaints about the inefficiency of the company but an audit has been commissioned to look into these and other matters relating to its overall functioning.

She stated that there was no truth to rumors that the government was currently looking at installing a new director of PSS. The idea she explained could not even be entertained until the audit was complete.

“The establishment of PSS was created under a lot of pressure and clearly the services can be improved. This audit is to give government, PSS board and management a complete overview of how to move forward,” the prime minister said.

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