PM to appoint cabinet staffer to liaise with Corporate Governance Council

POSTED: 04/8/11 11:56 AM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has expressed her disappointment that decisions made by the Council of Ministers relating to Corporate Governance Council have not been communicated to the Council in a timely fashion. She announced Wednesday that she’ll be appointing one of her cabinet staffers to gather the relevant information and send it to the Council, including notification of a 400, 000 guilder advance and the work being done to acquire a space for the council to share with other advisory bodies.

The prime minister made her announcements and expressed her feelings during Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. She reiterated again at that time that matters like the financing of the council’s budget was not sufficiently outlined in the Corporate Governance Code. The law basically states that the government must approve the council’s budget and must also establish a division key and that is not enough for the prime minister.

“The law, when it was established, did not give any other further elucidation on how, which ones, small, big, in between. None of that was regulated. That in itself requires a discussion with the government owned companies, look at their finances etc. etc. When government realized this was taking long in coming, then we made the decision about giving the advance, which will come eventually from the companies, but will be given from government’s coffers to start with,” Wescot-Williams said.

The prime minister further explained that an advance was being given, because the Finance Ministry needs to have a discussion with the Corporate Governance Council on their budget in general and the fact that specific items are already taken up by government. One of those things is office space.

“I can inform you that one of the former faction buildings is being looked at, as a possibility for government to house some of these advisory councils, because it’s not only the Corporate Governance Council that is in need of meeting space, so we have been looking at that and I hope that the Corporate Governance Council has been made aware of those efforts,” Wescot-Williams said.

The prime minister also stressed Wednesday that the decisions government has to take on especially the division key must be done in consultation with the various government owned companies.

“There’s no impediment as such. Government can’t without consultation and due consideration just of the top of its head decide what the division would be. You have to take into account that some companies are better off financially than others, but it’s not something, we can sit here in this building and decide on without taking into consideration the companies themselves. Those discussions had started in the past. They kind of remained dormant for a while and the idea is to pick it up again,” Wescot-Williams said.


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