~Smith Orloff & Associates contracted Geo Design N.V as their adjuster to work with NAGICO Insurances, Henderson court case February 19th.~
PHILIPSBURG: --- Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin will now have to answer questions that she probably did not anticipate as it relates to the contract her government gave to Smith Orloff & Associates when they dismissed Henderson International and mislead the Governor of St. Maarten with the submittal of a National Decree without acknowledging the first National Decree that was prepared by the outgoing William Marlin Cabinet to award the contract to Henderson International.
SMN News was reliably informed that the Governor of St. Maarten allegedly indicated that he will be initiating an investigation into the procedure of the contract awarded to Smith Orloff and Associates since Henderson International already filed a court case against the Romeo Marlin Cabinet for annulling the contract that was awarded shortly after the passing of hurricane IRMA and MARIA. The case against the government of St. Maarten will be heard on February 19th, 2019.
More questionable is the fact that Smith Orloff & Associates an International company as an adjuster just recently hired another local company to work on their behalf. That company SMN News learned is Geo Design N.V dba Geo Design registered at the Chamber of Commerce. Geo Design N.V website state that they render the following services, Project Management, Quality Survey, Engineering, Technical and Structural Reports, Quality Control, Engineering, Building Permits, Work Progress Assessment, Project Cost Estimation, and Development Consulting. Nowhere on the company’s website, it states that they have any knowledge or provide services as an Insurance Public Adjuster. Miti Katz, is a representative of Geodesign, someone that is very close to the leader of Government Theodore Heyliger.
Upon further research by SMN News, it is further noted that Smith Orloff & Associates in their offer that was fraudulently addressed to Minister Emil Lee never indicated that they will be hiring Geo Design N.V as their adjuster who is not specialized in Public claims. One would wonder how this slipped through as a standard condition for Government contracts dictates that the subcontractors must be mentioned in the offer and requires prior approval from Government. The question that now arises is if Government turned a blind eye to facilitate this contract. SMN News was also informed that a bid offer was never requested from Smith Orloff & Associates during the bidding procedure as this offer was brought forward by Minister Lee through the back door.
It should be further noted that the Romeo Marlin Government did not follow the correct procedures when they annulled the contract awarded to Henderson International and awarded to Smith Orloff & Associates an international company that has connections to Minister Emil Lee.
While the Government of St. Maarten informed NAGICO Insurances that Smith Orloff & Associates is the independent adjuster that will be working on behalf of government. Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin who is responsible for General Affairs did not conduct second bidding, neither did she get advice on the company she chose to hire because her colleague Minister Emil Lee suggested that Government engage the foreign company. The Prime Minister went ahead and submitted another National Decree to the Governor for signature while due diligence on the hiring was not done.
SMN News broke the story about the hiring of Smith Orloff & Associates but to date, Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and her team did not provide adequate information on the shady hiring of Smith Orloff & Associates which has a semblance of corruption as proper bidding procedures were not followed.
NAGICO Insurances paid close to $6M to the Government of St. Maarten there are still a number of public buildings including schools that are not yet been repaired. The lack of action from the Government of St. Maarten led to the closure of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library while Government held on to the Insurance payout.
Further research revealed that the Romeo Marlin instructed the Secretary-General Hensley Plantijn to prepare an advice to annul the contract with Henderson International and to award the contract to Smith Orloff & Associates, now that a court case is forthcoming allegedly Plantijn is being blamed by Romeo Marlin for advising the COM wrongfully and he should be held responsible for this entire ordeal and contract awarding to Smith Orloff & Associates. Plantijn who is a Lawyer by profession is of a different opinion and if anything he will have no option than to defend his name and profession by taking legal actions against Government because the bullying and continuous disrespectful behavior displayed by PM Romeo Marlin not only towards him but senior Civil Servants as well that are being victimized by Romeo Marlin. Based on the current trend it appears that there will be more court cases and investigations into the shady contract that was awarded to Smith Orloff and Associates, a brainchild orchestrated by Minister Emil Lee.
Smith Orloff and Associates already rendered services to other proprietors whose buildings were damaged with the passing of hurricane IRMA and MARIA, those property owners are operating in the tourism industry including local resorts.
SMN NEWS apologizes to GEOTEC for incorrectly naming them as the subcontractor when it is GEO DESIGN N.V
Geo Designs N.V Responds.
Letter to the Editor
SMN-News agency published an article on Sunday, February 10th regarding a government contract awarded to Smith Orloff & Associates and specifically stated that Smith Orloff hired a local company Geotec Development NV. The original article stated a number of details about this sub-contractor that in fact where incorrect and on Monday, February 11th SMN-News subsequently issued a correction with still some incorrect facts and further inciting accusations of wrongdoing.
With the utmost respect I have for investigative journalism, I would like to issue a clarification regarding Geo Design NV. I am the Director, Gianni Rabacchi, I have been a geometer/engineer on St. Maarten for more than 20 years. My company Geo Design NV was in fact hired by Smith Orloff to execute a portion of the Government contract mentioned in the article. We were hired specifically to do the portion of the contract that relates to estimating cost of works and preparing the reports of these estimates for the buildings identified in the scope of works of the contract. To be clear Geo Design has not been hired to provide the services of a Public Insurance Adjuster. As an engineering /quantity surveying firm with a number of years of experience, and a number of years in the local market and having provided numerous estimates for insurance claims after the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, our qualifications to provide the scope of work we were actually hired for are numerous and well proven.