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VAMED asking Court to impose $10M on USZV in the event they does not comply with Court Verdict.

scalesofjustice28052013PHILIPSBURG:--- VAMED through its attorney VanEps and Kunneman filed an injunction with the Court of First Instance on Monday, September 19th, 2016, the same day the tripartite signed the Design, Build, and Maintain (DBM) contract. Also involved in the project is Henk de Zeeuw, the managing partner at KPMG and project coordinator of the tripartite responsible for preparing the business cases for the New Hospital who also coordinated the bidding procedure, while the tripartite consists of the Ministry of VSA, USZV and SMMC.
Based on the court documents which was sent to USZV on Monday, VAMED is claiming that USZV organized the bidding for the New Hospital and as such, they are liable for the damages. VAMED claimed that USZV concluded after the bidding process and evaluation that their company did not submit an economical, financial and beneficial bid. The court documents further state that the evaluation is unexplainable since the winning bid presented by INSO is less than half of the total cost from the other two bidders that participated in the bidding process.
The company said based on their expertise in building hospitals all over the world including the Caribbean they felt that the bid submitted by INSO is suspicious and it does not meet the project requirements since it is abnormally low. VAMED also believe that in order for INSO to win the bid they submitted an abnormally low-cost bid, while they expect to recover their loss by adding more monies for the additional work they have to do as they construct the project.
One example given in the court documents INSO price per square meter is $4.011 which according to VAMED is an impossibly low amount based on international calculations for the construction of hospitals.
The company claimed that they are specialized in building hospitals worldwide including the Caribbean and the scores they received from the evaluation committee is unexplainable since the scores they were given are extremely low. The petition further stated that VAMED raised their concerns and pointed out the discrepancies to USZV and asked that the health insurance company provide them with further explanation on the low scores and they even appealed the intended tender proposal. VAMED said in their petition to the court that USZV refused to take responsibility with reference to the scores they were given and refused to respond to their questions, therefore this behavior strengthened their suspicions and went as far as stating that someone maybe holding a hand over INSO’s head or the outcome of the bidding procedure which they believe has been influenced by irrelevant factors because USZV refused to comply with the reasonable requests from VAMED to provide them with the answers they are seeking.
The petition further stated that VAMED had no other option but to approach the courts in order to conclude if the bidding procedure had irregularities especially when it comes to the bid submitted by INSO.
The company is demanding that the bid submitted by INSO be declared invalid since it did not comply with the requirements and that the bid must be awarded to VAMED. The company also demanded that USZV withdraws the bidding procedures because of the irregularities that occurred in the procedure.
They also demanded that USZV is prohibited from signing off on the contract with INSO until after the court procedure and to also prohibit them from executing the contract because awarding the contract to INSO should not have taken place in the first place in their view. VAMED also stated that despite the fact that they submitted an appeal UZSV went ahead and signed off on the contract on Monday, September 19th, 2016.
In backing up their claim VAMED noted that it is important to note that the applicable framework is not permitted to sign off such contracts in the form and content it is in.
As for USZV, they said they have crossed the borders of their legal framework and are being used as an improper vehicle by the government to construct a new hospital whereby the financing is not taking place based on the established rules and regulations.
The petition further stated that the Minister of VSA should not be able to get away with any kind of deals made over the heads of the people of St. Maarten, especially with a disastrous project. The petition continues to state that USZV went over their heads when they went against the law by allowing the government to use them as a ‘cashcow” for a hospital that will be owned by the government.

Click here to read the Court documents submitted on September 19th, 2016 to the Court of First Instance


Judge of Instruction suspends Octopus hearing until October 13th.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The judge of the Court of First Instance of St. Maarten suspended the preliminary hearing in the Octopus investigation till October 13, 2016 at 10 am. This is to give all parties more time to formulate additional research requests concerning the investigation. The judge will take inventory of additional requests and also a decision on these requests. The judge will also take a decision on a date for the trial.
“Octopus” is the code name for the investigation into vote buying fraud during the 2014 parliamentary elections. For now five suspects have been summoned to stand trial in the Court of First Instance of St. Maarten. They are S.J.M. (49), W.F.B. (30), E.E.L.F. (35), R.G.K. (48) and F.L.A. (46). They are suspected of participating in a criminal organization and vote buying. The Prosecutor has not yet made a decision on the prosecution of other suspects in the Octopus investigation.
In the investigation, led by the Prosecutor’s Office and carried out by the National Detectives Agency 20 persons were considered suspects. One of those could not be traced and another suspect, in the meantime, has died. A total of 14 suspects were prisoners at the time that the investigation initiated. Of the suspects, more than 10 were interrogated during the investigation.
A preliminary hearing means no criminal proceedings on the contents of the case will take place.

Prosecutor's Office Bulletin

SZV Director signs the First Ever Performance Agreement.

uszvsigning22092016PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Health, Labour and Social Development Emil Lee and SZV Director Glen Carty have signed the first ever Performance Agreement between a Minister and the Director since the founding of the Social & Health Insurances SZV after 10-10-10. This performance agreement is a legal obligation and is directly tied to the operational budget of the SZV, which was submitted by Director Carty by the yearly legal deadline, which was also a first for SZV.
Key elements of the performance agreement call for; an enhanced digital medical referral process, benchmarked results for the safe investment of social funds that must have a measurable standard, medical care quality reviews, improved customer satisfaction and bi-annual reports on the terms in the agreement issued with input from the Supervisory Board.
This performance agreement is the result of months of work to establish what is a landmark document that can act as a model for future Ministers and Directors to follow. A team consisting of members of the Ministry Staff Bureau, the Minister’s Cabinet, and the SZV Legal and Operational management have crafted a document that establishes goals for the SZV that are meaningful, achievable, realistic and have a timetable.
“The signing of the performance agreement which details the criteria, by which the Director is evaluated, is actually only possible now that many non-compliance issues which have not been addressed in the past, have finally been resolved. Over the past 10 months, SZV and VSA have cooperated to have VDSM screen the candidate director, formally appointed the director by National decree, had the budget submitted, reviewed and approved in a timely manner, and finally signed the performance agreement. This is a critical tool to ensure that the quality of service from SZV structurally improves. By properly following the performance agreement, the public should see improvement in all aspects of service from SZV including the referral process.” – Minister Emil Lee
SZV, like many of the fledgling institutions that form the core of country St. Maarten, has had a lot of growing pains in becoming a fully functioning organization. The framework was established just prior to the breakup of the Antilles, but like so many other key components of a new country, there has been a steep learning curve and many details left to be filled in. The performance agreement is aimed at improving the services and measurable results of the SZV while limiting the negative experiences through a continuing shakeup of the programs which Director Carty terms SZV 3.0.
“Since taking office, many people have come to me with both good stories and bad about experience with the SZV. As a manger I have come to know that complaints are always heard first and loudest. Certainly we have seen that SZV has lots of room to improve as is normal with almost any operation. Customers rarely comment when they get the good service that is expected, but in the case of SZV I have also heard many good things about them as well.” -Minister Lee.

Director Carty stated, “This performance agreement is a hallmark of the change management process that I began at the end of 2014. I was brought in as Interim Director with the mandate to effect positive change in an organization which is critical to the well-being of St. Maarten. This level of change does not happen overnight. First a needs assessment was carried out and then an implementation plan was designed. This plan is now in motion and is set to be completed by the end of 2018.”
“Along with the support of Minister Lee for the full transition to ‘SZV 3.0.’, I am extremely proud of the commitment of the staff of the SZV to bring about this change and our promise to deliver on these improvements to the people of our island.” concluded Director Carty.

EXCLUSIVE: Minister Lee got warning from Jeroen Veen about AOV funds in December 2015.

PHILIPSBURG: --- Another document surfaced since the ongoing saga with the investing of the AOV funds. On Wednesday, Minister of VSA Emil Lee said he was never warned neither did he had any meetings with the former chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors of USZV Dr. about the investment of the AOV funds.
Minister Lee attacked the former Chairman of the SBOD Dr. Michel Petit whom he said never warned or called a meeting with him to discuss the funds, he went as far as saying that if Dr. Petit was interested in protecting the funds he would not have resigned and filed a complaint with the National Detectives to protect his own reputation, instead he would have stayed in his position as chairman and protect the fund.
SMN News published a letter that the former chairman of the SBOD Dr. Michel Petit sent to Minister Lee dated March 30th, 2016 and his written response where he admitted that the SBOD of USZV was right with their analysis.
SMN News stumbled on yet another document that proves that the Minister of VSA Emil Lee chose to lie and even tries to slander the names of other people when trying to defend his decisions through his arrogance.
In an email dated December 18th, 2015, sent by Jeroen Veen to the Minister of VSA Emil Lee it clearly outlines the contents of the meeting called on December 15th, 2015 to discuss pressing matters that needs to be regulated. The email states the following that the decree for the ZV and OV funds dates back to 1966 and is antique. The investment framework in that decree gives USZV hardly any possibility to invest in the local economy, and that USZV drafted a national decree and the explanatory notes that establish a modernized investment framework for the all the funds entrusted to the organization. The draft ordinance would revoke the older ones when it is screened by legal affairs and goes through the necessary legislative process. In that email, Veen stressed the urgency to have the necessary legislation in place before USZV AOV funds could have been invested. Jeroen Veen is the legal advisor to the director Glen Carty, he is also the former Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors who today has changed his tongue when he told SMN News in a telephone conversation on Wednesday that the legislation is from 1966 and the one from 2013 is basically a copy and paste legislation USZV took over from SVB when the island obtained its country status.

Click here to view email sent to Minister Lee by Jeroen Veen in December 2015

One in every four yards in St. Peters positive for mosquito larvae. Vector control team heads to Ebenezer this weekend

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):---The National Mosquito Elimination Community Program Zika Virus disease (ZikV) “Beat ZikV,” last weekend was in the residential area of St. Peters, and of the homes/yards visited, one in four yards have mosquito larvae.

The vector control team and volunteers visited in total 94 +/- premises of which 72 were found open for yard inspections.

A home owner’s survey was also carried out in St. Peters to determine people’s attitudes towards and knowledge of mosquitos and elimination measures.

The survey revealed that 93 percent of the homeowners questioned was aware of the importance of standing water with respect to mosquito challenges in their area.

A small percentage of 10 percent thought that mosquitoes could breed in standing water on their property, however, almost 46 per cent considered standing water on and off someone else property as a major breeding site.

Collective Prevention Services (CPS) within the Ministry of Public Health Social Development is coordinating this campaign.

The Vector Control Unit of CPS was supported by personnel from the Voluntary Corps of Sint Maarten.

The Beat ZikV campaign will be heading this weekend to the residential area of Ebenezer. The cooperation of all residents is needed in order to beat the Zika virus.

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Their ability to carry and spread the disease to humans causes millions of deaths every year.

Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever are all transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. More than half of the world’s population lives in areas where this mosquito species is present.

Sustained mosquito control efforts are important to prevent outbreaks of these diseases. There are several different types of mosquitoes and some have the ability to carry many different diseases.

The Beat ZikV community program calls for close cooperation of residents within the identified district (s) to ensure a smooth operation of the house to house visits and their availability to create an opportunity to provide one on one education for the elimination of mosquito breeding sites in and around the house.

The ultimate objective is to minimize the occurrence of mosquito-borne diseases by eliminating mosquito breeding sites within the districts with a special focus on the elimination of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days. Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents and visitors at risk. For information about dengue fever, Zika like and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003 to report mosquito breeding sites or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Radio from voiceofthecaribbean.net

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