~Possible Bid Rigging detected~
PHILIPSBURG: --- Acting Minister of VROMI Ardwell Irion said that the government of St. Maarten is busy investigating the contract that was issued to Soualiga Infrastructure to repair the walkway of the Prins Bernard Bridge, this contract he said was awarded by the former Minister of VROMI Christopher Emmanuel in 2017.
Irion said that after conducting preliminary research government determined that the contract was awarded to the companion of the former Minister’s chief of staff. Asked if another company by the name of Earth Movers Contractor also participated in the bidding process. The Minister responded in the affirmative.
Upon research, it shows that Earth Movers Contractor was incorporated in March 2016 and by 2019 the company became inactive. The business address of this company is Arrowroot Drive 6, Reward Cul de Sac. Further research shows that this is next door to the former Minister’s gym.
Asked if the repair works were completed based on the contract Irion said that he could not say any work was done. He said that based on an article posted earlier this week and also concerns raised by several persons since the publication of the article he was not able to verify if the work was completed even though 50% of the contract was paid in advance.
Irion said that he is unable to say if any works were done but said the current Minister of VROMI is busy with a tender to fully repair and restore the Prins Bernard Bridge which would include an area for birdwatching. The Minister further explained that a tour will take place on Tuesday to further explore all that needs to be done to upgrade and enhance the bridge.