Taxand-report becomes public soon

POSTED: 11/2/12 2:24 PM

St. Maarten – The minister of finance has received the first draft of the Soab report on Taxand Consultancy who was given a controversial contract to implement a new tax structure on St. Maarten under the United People’s Party/Democratic Party coalition government.
Finance Minister Roland Tuitt indicated that he had received the report last week and he is still going through it. The report will then be presented to the Council of Ministers, finalized and then made public.
On May 3 this newspaper reported that the Finance Ministry circumvented the rules for public tenders by granting a consultancy contract worth 210,000 guilders to B&B consultancy in 2010 for assistance with a tax and investment plan. Later, a company, the same consultant leads landed a contract worth approximately 14 million guilders (almost $7.8 million) for the restructuring of the tax system. The company in question is Taxand, a global tax consultancy with offices in Curacao and St. Maarten. The company is represented here by Judith Brewster, who also secured a consultancy job for herself worth 17,500 guilders (a bit over $9,700) per month back in 2010. Article 47 of the national audit ordinance stipulates that buying goods or services worth more than 50,000 guilders ($27,778) require a public render, unless the national interest does not allow for any delays.
As soon as Tuitt took office in May, he ordered an investigation into the matter. On Wednesday Tuitt said that if criminal proceedings are to be instituted based on the report’s findings, the Council of Ministers would have to make take a decision about filing a complaint with the office of the public prosecutor..
The Taxand contracted was prepared under former Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto.

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