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Contractors paid; government admits to not paying its vendors on time.

ardwellirion07062022PHILIPSBURG: --- Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion announced on Wednesday that the government of St. Maarten found a solution within hours after heavy equipment operators took action for nonpayment of work. He said the contractors were paid for two months and that work will continue until government finalizes the tender process. Ardwell said the tender process took longer than the government would have liked while there was an unsuccessful tender that was sent back from the governor’s office, and this had to be corrected.
He said that the government of St. Maarten is busy working on a new tender and or deviation that would allow the landfill contractors to continue to work until the new tender is published. Irion described Tuesday’s protest as unfortunate and his government plans on working on eliminating such incidences.
Irion said to improve the tender process government is looking at improving its capacity and providing training in order to have proper advice while the Ministry of Finance will provide support so that the tendering processes will begin in time.
Irion said the government of St. Maarten will be working on a tender law that would provide guidance for tendering.
Asked why the government waited for the contractors to start industrial action before they find solutions, Irion said that it is indeed unfortunate that the matters have not been resolved prior to industrial action being taken. He said that government has to do more to pay its vendors on time because he believes that when people work, they must be paid on time and he does not blame the heavy equipment operators for the actions they took on Tuesday. Irion said the government must do a better job of keeping track of contracts as such his Ministry will provide support to various ministries and accountability must be kept in the highest regard.
The Minister said that he intends to finalize the tender law sometime in 2023. He said it is quite funny that some members of parliament who sat as ministers and did nothing on drafting a tender law are today asking him when will this law be finalized.

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