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VAMED and BAM PHILIPS submitted objections to the Bidding Process for New Hospital.

szvdialysis24082016Said INSO’s Bid should have been disqualified --- No Dialysis, Oncology Center, and Special Wing will be included if INSO constructs Hospital.

PHILIPSBURG:---KPMG and USZV has one more hurdle to cross before the finalization of the contract for the new hospital is realized and they may well have to face court litigations if the contract is awarded to INSO. Two of the three companies that bid on the project has submitted their objections to the project manager at KPMG. According to information and documentation, SMN News obtained the objections were filed on August 12th, 2016.
Some of the arguments used by VAMED, the Austria company that worked on a concept for USZV invested a significant amount of time and also incurred significant costs in order to participate in the tender for the new hospital on St. Maarten. The company also argued that by the media statements made by the current Minister of VSA will tarnish their reputation, and the decision taken by USZV to award the contract to INSO is not correct especially on the instructions for the tendering.
According to the information, SMN News obtained some 12 companies were interested in the project, but only five of them were qualified to bid. Of the five only three of the companies participated in the bid which are VAMED, INSO, and BAM PHILIPS.
INSO’s pricing for the construction of the hospital is in close proximity of USD 60M while their maintenance cost for a period of 20 years will be USD 46M
VAMED, on the other hand, submitted a bid which amounts to USD 80M for construction and $100M for maintenance for the 20 year period. It should be noted that in the concept and bidding VAMED agreed to provide a “full turn-key, life cycle” hospital and they would have maintained not only the structure but also the equipment over the 20 year period. As for BAM PHILIPS, their bid was in the range of USD 140M.
While there is much talk about VAMED obtaining the contract to construct the new hospital without a bidding process being held research done by SMN News shows that VAMED spent six months preparing a full concept for USZV because they were given a letter of intent that they will obtain the project if they were able to provide St. Maarten with the hospital they need at the price USZV could afford.
USZV and KMPG the consultant can well be looking at a court case because they both led VAMED to believe that they were going to get the project after the company spent months working with USZV to prepare the concept free of charge since they were almost sure they were going to get the project that will cater to St. Maarten’s needs even though the island is small.
Research shows that VAMED, contacted Cees Klarenbeek of the St. Maarten Medical Center when they saw on SMMC website that they wanted to expand the hospital and when they also saw the drawings from the UPP leader Theodore Heyliger on billboards which were also online during the 2014 parliamentary elections. Due to this VAMED contacted and eventually met with Klarenbeek of SMMC, the interim director USZV Glen Carty and KMPG where they introduced themselves as the company that builds only hospital and has built over 700 medical projects around the world. During the discussions (negotiations) with the tripartite committee VAMED proposed to build a new hospital that would include a dialysis center, and a private wing that the hospital could rent for USD 150M but USZV said they were only willing to invest USD 100M however after fierce planning and to deliver what St. Maarten wants the price of the construction falls in the range of USD 105M. The hospital would have been constructed in five phases, one being the dialysis center, the oncology center, and the private wing were all part of the plan if USZV had accepted the plan VAMED provided them with since SMMC neither USZV had a master plan. At some point, USZV decided that they would have dropped one of the five phases, mostly likely the oncology center. In the bidding process, the much-needed facility for cancer patients was left out.
The SMMC section would have gotten four operating rooms that would have been fully equipped while the private (separate) wing would have had six theaters for smaller surgeries that would have also been available to SMMC especially for patients that had to be referred abroad for medical care SMMC could not provide, while at the same time they were going to provide more beds for SMMC both in their section and the private wing.
The plan VAMED had for USZV was for the hospital to generate funds through the separate wing and through cutting cost by sending patients overseas while collecting rent from those that would have rented that wing.
VAMED also even proposed to finance the hospital but USZV (SMMC) could not have provided the company with a business plan in order to show how they would have repaid the loan.
VAMED started their project for USZV in 2015 and by the first week of November 2015 the company delivered the concept which was tweaked on the request of USZV and KPMG.
Today, the company feels that the current Minister of VSA Emil Lee thinks because he owns a construction company he knows what it cost to build a hospital and to fully maintain it so that equipment do not fall apart. The company also believes that Minister Lee does not think that the private wing is needed even though USZV would be saving monies by sending patients abroad for surgeries that SMMC cannot conduct. They are also annoyed that the Minister twisted the truth when it comes to the plan when he said that SMMC would have had two operation rooms and the private wing would have had four. SMN News managed to obtain the plan that VAMED had for the new hospital that plan shows that SMMC would have had four fully equipped theaters while the private wing would have had six operating theaters, a total of ten operating rooms at the new hospital.
In the objection, VAMED requested that KPMG discloses INSO’s price elements and structure, specifications in order for them to determine functional and technological is in conformity with the tender. VAMED wants the number of square meters in order to see if INSO complied with the minimum as per the tender documents and their net gross factors, medical equipment, mechanical and electrical equipment among other things.
In their conclusion they said based on their calculations INSO’s bid should have been declared invalid and their bid should have been the winning bid. They urged KPMG to remain open and transparent and to reconsider their award recommendations and to provide the company with their feedback along with the information they requested. VAMED also made clear to KMPG that they after receiving the feedback and information they would need sufficient time in order for them to start legal proceedings remain open and transparent and to reconsider their award recommendations and to provide the company with their feedback along with the information they requested. VAMED also made clear to KMPG that they after receiving the feedback and information they would need sufficient time in order for them to start legal proceedings.

SMN News made several attempts to get a direct comment from VAMED in Austria on Thursday but they refused to comment on the ongoing process.

CPS advise. against bathing/swimming in Great Bay on Wednesday.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):-- The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, strongly advises against any swimming in Great Bay on Wednesday until the afternoon.

This advisory is in relation to water that is being released into Great Bay from the pond. Pumping of the Great Salt Pond is part of a controlled lowering of the water levels.

This water can be contaminated, from amongst others, rainwater runoff into the aforementioned.

CPS advisory is a precautionary measure to prevent swimmers from coming into contact with any contaminated water that could pose a health risk if ingested or by skin contact, thereby making the person vulnerable to recreational water illnesses.

The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) commenced on Tuesday at 5.00pm with the pumping of water into Great Bay due to anticipated rainfall from an approaching weather system.

Oranje Fonds seeks initiatives for vulnerable children.

Registration Appeltjes van Oranje 2017 has started

Children that grow up in vulnerable situation are the focus of the Appeltjes van Oranje 2017. With the theme Powerful Children in mind, the Oranje Fonds seeks organizations that devote themselves to these children. In order to be considered for this prize, an initiative will need to assist children with their development, improving their surroundings or provide support to the parents. Registration is possible until September 23rd via On May 2017, three organizations will be awarded an Appeltjes van Oranje.

Children belong one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. The family situation and surroundings have great influences on their development. Fortunately, in our kingdom, there are many initiatives that work with children, and their family, on their development. They appoint a buddy to children who have difficulties keeping up at school, assist children with a language deficiency or connect a family from the neighborhood with another family that could use some support. This kind of beautiful examples is what the Oranje Fonds is looking for.

Ronald van der Giessen, director of the Oranje Fonds, explains: “Every child deserves the same opportunities in life. However, due to factors such as a hard family situation or a language deficiency, children sometimes have a false start. The initiatives that help them to prosper in life are invaluable. We are looking for initiatives that are successful in their approach, help these children with their development and make a difference in their lives. We ask all projects that do so, to please apply for the Appeltjes van Oranje!”

Appeltjes van Oranje
The Appeltjes van Oranje is an annual award of the Oranje Fonds for initiatives that have successfully managed to connect different groups of people and creating a livable society. In doing so, they are an example to others. The prize consists of a bronze statue, made by Princes Beatrix, and a cash prize of €15.000. Each year the awards are handed out by Queen Máxima at Palace Noordeinde. In lustrum years, King Willem-Alexander himself will hand out the prize.
Oranje Fonds
The Oranje Fonds supports social initiatives in the Netherlands and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The past year € 31 million has been invested in supporting initiatives that allow for people to meet each other, feel a less sense of loneliness, understand each other and make an effort for one another. The Oranje Fonds is sponsored by, amongst others, the Nationale Postcode Loterij, De Lotto, as well as by friends and businesses. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have been the official patrons of the Oranje Fonds since its inception.

Former Chairman of USZV Dr. Michel Petit filed official complaint against USZV director.

glenmichel24082016PHILIPSBURG:--- The former chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors of USZV Dr. Michel Petit filed an official complaint with the Attorney General’s Office of St. Maarten and Curacao as well as with the Prosecutor’s Office of St. MaartenIt against the USZV director Glen Carty. It should be noted that while the director USZV is signing agreements on behalf of USZV  he is not in possession of performance contract, and only recently he obtained a Landsbesluit that was signed by the governor retroactive 2014. 
When contacted by SMN News for confirmation Dr. Michel Petit confirmed that an official complaint was filed with the two entities for the mismanagement of the AOV funds. Dr. Petit also said he asked the two legal entities to start an immediate investigation since it’s a large amount of funds that is being mismanaged by USZV director Glen Carty which could jeopardize the solvency of the old pension.
Asked why he chose to do this now and not before Dr. Petit said that he has been following the developments surrounding the government administration building and the amount of monies that are being invested while there is no purchase agreement between government and USZV in place.
Dr. Petit further stated that only on August 6th, 2016, the Minister of Health and Labor reported to the media that the tender evaluation was officially signed off, while he also made statements to the media that he  met with the Ministers in the Netherlands who were willing to lone St. Maarten monies to construct the new hospital. In those very media reports, Dr. Petit said the Minister was quoted as saying that this project would have saved St. Maarten a lot of monies.
Asked by SMN News why he or the Supervisory Board did not meet with the Minister to express their concerns, Dr. Petit said that while the Minister of Health said he met with him three times, he should consider himself lucky because the Supervisory Board of Directors does not have to meet with the Ministers. He said the board’s obligation is to advise the Minister, and that is clearly stipulated in the bylaws.
As for the positions has to be filled on the Supervisory Board, Dr. Petit said that the board submitted six names to the former Minister of Health Cornelius de Weever who did not appoint any of those persons. He said that the SOBD of USZV also submitted six names to the current Minister of VSA and the Minister felt that those persons were not qualified  for the position even though he was not part of the committee that interviewed or vetted the candidates. Dr. Petit also said that the SBOD does not have to give the Minister the names of the people that applied for the vacant positions, instead they are the ones that are responsible for the selection of the candidates and then submit an advice to the Minister of VSA for him to make the appointments.He made clear that the SOBD has to submit two candidates for each vacant position to the Minister.


Flat tax or indirect taxation will only benefit the rich says Minister of Finance.

richardgibson24082016PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Finance Richard Gibson Sr. told members of the media on Wednesday that last week when he announced that NGO’s (foundations or associations) does not have to file profit tax his announcement was taken out of context by some and they have been getting a little bit over zealous. He said those NGOs do have to pay their TOT and wage taxes but they are exempted from profit tax. He made clear on Wednesday that NGO’s will only be exempted from profit tax and not wage taxes and other dues. While foundations that operate as a business would have to file profit and wage tax while they would also have to pay the necessary dues for employees they have in service.
As for the flat tax and indirect taxes that some people think is better for St. Maarten the Minister said that is not beneficial for the masses of people living on St. Maarten. He said that such taxes will only benefit the rich. He made clear that these taxes would only be giving a tax break to the rich by means of reducing their taxes. As for the indirect tax, the Minister said again the rich will be benefitting because this tax will apply to items purchased.
The Minister said that just Tuesday the Council of Ministers approved a legislation that would improve compliance. The new legislation he aims at going forward and will bring the country up to par with technology since it would require stores to install cash registers that are connected to the system in order for the sales to be monitored.
The Minister of Finance also mentioned the meeting he had in Curacao where the financial statements of the Central Bank were ratified and St. Maarten will be getting NAF10M as its share of the profits.

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