Published On: Tue, Jun 22nd, 2021

GEBE-board strikes back and labels Richardson as “disgruntled”

PHILIPSBURG — The former chairman of the supervisory board of directors of GEBE, Bienvenido Richardson, and “an employee with a high function who reports to the  Audit Committee” are responsible for “systematic undermining at the utilities company, the supervisory board says in a statement released through its legal advisor Jairo Bloem.

In a letter dated June 8 addressed to the Council of Ministers and to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, Richardson questioned the expertise and the decision-making by members of the supervisory board. He also accused Bloem of overcharging for his services and of “infiltrating the supervisory board of directors by virtually occupying the seat of the chair, manipulating the board members by dividing and conquering us along with questionable legal advice and excessive billing.”

The supervisory board describes Richardson’s statements as a “deliberate incorrect factual representation” by a “seemingly disgruntled member of the supervisory board.”

Richardson has been held responsible by all other members of the supervisory board “on repeated occasions, the last time being June 3, 2021, for a long record of serious violations and actions against the best interest of NV GEBE,” the board states in its reaction.

The board refutes all allegations Richardson made against them, the management board and its legal advisor and says that the government, the company’s sole shareholder, “is in possession of several detailed reports outlining and substantiating these irregularities by a small group of people.”

The supervisory board has also sent “certain reports,” documents and opinions to the Corporate Governance Council and the Integrity Chamber.

“The Corporate Governance Council received the package with the pertinent information after it rendered its advice on prospective candidates for vacant functions on the Management Board of NV GEBE,” the statement claims.

The Corporate Governance Council expressed its reservations about the possible appointment of Sharine Daniel as GEBE’s next Chief Executive Officer. The statement from the supervisory board suggests that the Council could have come to a different conclusion based on the information it provided.

The board wishes that “all bodies with authority to safeguard corporate governance matters will be allowed to perform their tasks without unnecessary victimization and even intimidation.”

The board also wishes that these bodies “continue to take the right decisions for NV GEBE, even when they might be – politically – unpopular.”

Management and board “can only continue their best efforts of reporting to the proper authorities,” the statement concludes. (….) It is either that, or the shareholder or the public prosecutor’s office should consider commissioning a corporate investigation into NV GEBE.”


Related links:
Supervisory Board NV GEBE issues statement
Attorney Bloem refutes allegations from GEBE board member Richardson