Published On: Tue, Jan 29th, 2013

CPA decides not to purchase building

WILLEMSTAD – Contrary to previous statements from the chairman of the board of the Curaçao Port Authority (CPA), Amparo dos Santos, that the harbor company bought the building next to KTK on Pletterijweg (from former minister George Jamaloodin, MFK) for 3 million, it appears that CPA decided not to purchase the building. “This change of mind was due to the media attention and the pressure from the media. I heard the chairman of the board state on the radio this morning that CPA will not purchase the building”, said PS party leader Helmin Wiels. “Several well-informed sources confirm the purchase is off.

The intended purchase, which in first instance was presented as an accomplished fact, is considered quite controversial because the building is owned by former minister Jamaloodin and his brother Dos Santos, who is the chairman of the board of CPA. The government is renting the building since March 2012 when Jamaloodin was the minister of Finance. The current coalition partners – PS, Pais, PNP and independent parliamentarian Glenn Sulvaran – have meanwhile submitted a joint request to convene a public meeting in the Parliament as soon as possible to discuss this matter. The coalition parties also want to discuss the Soab report regarding the 133 current government contracts (for a three-year period) of which the majority was concluded after 10-10-’10 with little possibility of terminating them prematurely. This also applies for the building on Pletterijweg. The coalition parties also want to discuss the ZenCity project during this meeting. Wiels emphasized he has the minutes of the CPA-meeting of the Board of Commissioners in which the purchase of the building was approved. “CPA would certainly have forced the purchase through if the serious conflict of interest hadn’t been revealed and if there hadn’t been the pressure from the media. The question is what else will come to light now that it appears the current Board of Commissioners had taken at least two dubious decision lately, namely approving the purchase of this building and granting Nederex NV a twenty-year concession”, said Wiels. The latter pointed out once again that the Board of Commissioners and the director/management have an obligation as regards investigation and the main task of guaranteeing transparency of internal processes whereby they can also be held severely liable.

‘Political fencing’

Minister of Economic Development (MEO, Pais), Steven Martina, doesn’t wish to elaborate on the specific details of the matter. “The dossier certainly has my attention whereby the added value of purchasing a building for the harbor company will be looked into. I don’t think it’s ethic to comment on internal matters of CPA and the possible purchase while it is under investigation. He will also consider in which respect the intention to purchase fits within the entire vision of the harbor policy.” He emphasized ‘not to be part of the ‘political fencing’.

“For instance, within MEO I clearly gave priority to developing the harbor policy. The latter is ready and I expect to present this in the meeting of the Council of Ministers in two to three weeks”, said Martina. Initiates have repeatedly pointed out the importance of drawing up a harbor policy plan because the harbor is an essential part of the economic development of the island. In April 2011 former minister Abdul Nasser el Hakim (MFK) and the MEO initiated this development, whereby CPA was the discussion partner and as such was consulted, and a consultancy bureau was called in, according to Minister Martina. When asked if CPA shouldn’t have been the one to draw up most of the harbor policy, Minister Martina replied: “The entire harbor policy is clearly a matter of the government and should be developed as such. Of course, as important actor, CPA will be included in the implementation.”

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