Governor commissions PWC New York to start Integrity Inquiry

feb 25, 2014

    Governor commissions PWC New York to start Integrity Inquiry

    Harbour View – His Excellency Governor Holiday stated that the New York based Accounting Firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers has been commissioned to conduct the Integrity Inquiry starting Wednesday February 26, 2014. This based on the Kingdom decree of September 30, 2013 and the results of the tender organized on December 20, 2013, in which four New York based Accounting Firms were invited to participate.

    The Management and members of the PWC Integrity Inquiry Team arrived on Sint Maarten on February 25, 2014, for an initial meeting with Governor Holiday.  Governor Holiday has informed the prime-minister and the members of the council of ministers as well as the state owned companies about the start of the integrity inquiry. The prime-minister has designated a central contact person to facilitate the PWC Integrity Inquiry Team’s access to persons and relevant information necessary to conduct the inquiry. The respective ministers have also appointed a contact person per ministry.

    The steering group integrity inquiry and the PWC Integrity Inquiry Team will kick off the inquiry with preparatory meetings to ensure an effective startup of the inquiry. Additionally the steering group, the PWC team and the government designated contact persons will be having introductory meetings regarding the planning and approach for the execution of the inquiry. The steering group was installed by the Governor on December 4th, 2013, to amongst others advise the Governor and to oversee and direct the accounting firm during the Inquiry. The group, comprised of dr. Marten Oosting, mr. Jaime Saleh and mr. Miguel Alexander, has been convened to ensure an independent, impartial and effective process.

    The purpose of the inquiry is threefold: to collect data and information for assessment based on integrity requirements in accordance with the rule of law in a democratic society, to report the findings from the assessment and finally to make recommendations that add value to the functioning of the public administration of Sint Maarten.

    The scope of the inquiry, in keeping with the provisions of the Kingdom Decree of September 30, 2013, covers the government and includes ministers, the civil servants in the ministries and state owned companies. It focusses on vulnerable sectors such as prostitution, gambling and immigration as well as vulnerable activities such as permits for and the execution of infrastructural works and (other) large tenders. PWC will handle all documents and information obtained during the inquiry prudently and confidentially. In that respect, PWC will take all measures necessary to ensure the anonymity of the government officials and employees and all persons involved in the inquiry.
    For completeness it should be noted that the inquiry is an integrity investigation and not a penal investigation. The inquiry is as such separate from any penal investigation being carried out by the Office of the Public Prosecutor.

    PWC will issue an interim progress report within three months and the final inquiry report of its findings and recommendations within six months of the start of its inquiry works to the Governor. The process of the integrity inquiry will conclude with the presentation of the final report to the Kingdom Council of Ministers by Governor Holiday.

    Further information and developments regarding the inquiry will be made public by the Governor through the Cabinet of the Governor.