Published On: Tue, Aug 16th, 2022

Solid waste collection tender was rigged, says MP Emmanuel

PHILIPSBURG -- The tender for solid waste collection for the period 2021-2026 was not only unfair and not transparent, as the Ombudsman states in its report about its systemic investigation into this matter, it was also rigged.

This appears from documents that were delivered anonymously to the faction of the Party for Progress; the PFP submitted these documents to parliament and they became part of a debate about the tender during a central committee meeting on Monday.

Click here to watch this Parliament meeting online>>>

Independent MP Christophe Emmanuel lit the fire by quoting from the documents. He referred to the terms of reference that state, among other things, that bidders have to submit certain documents. If one of those documents is missing, the bidding contractor would be disqualified.

MP Emmanuel elaborately showed that two contractors, Avyanna and Garden Boyz, were disqualified from the tender because their bids were incomplete. One other company also submitted an incomplete bid: Leonard Enterprises, a company that has been hauling garbage in St. Maarten for many years.

But of these three companies, only Leonard Enterprises did not get a contract. Avyanna en Garden Boyz mysteriously completed their bid-documents after they had been disqualified.

“How did Avyanna know that a bank statement was missing?” Emanuel wondered. “Because a staff member at the ministry told them. Leonard enterprises failed to submit a plan of action for the execution of the work. Were they also notified? If the answer is no, then this bid was rigged. This is fraud,”  Emmanuel said. “This is what you call bid rigging. It should be re-tendered.”

Emmanuel showed all sixteen tender documents the PFP faction had submitted.”When I look at all these documents I see that Quality Sweepers passed, but they did not get a contract. And the ones that failed have a contract today.”

Because the terms of reference have been approved by the Council of Ministers, Emmanuel said that the whole COM is complicit. “The issue for me is not the companies that got the contracts. The issue is how all this was manipulated.”

Earlier, Emmanuel already asked for a copy of the advice that was sent to the Governor. “He should be put on notice as well. What kind of due diligence did he do? But no matter how you flip the coin, there is no way the Governor would have signed off on this tender if he had received all these documents.”

MP Angélique Roumou asked where the documents had come from and MP Melissa Gumbs answered that they had been delivered anonymously in an envelope.

VROMI-Minister Doran is in parliament on Wednesday to answer questions from parliamentarians about the irregularities.


Related articles:
Ombudsman: Garbage collection-tender was not fair and not transparent
PFP: Ombudsman’s report is the final straw in a long list of poor governance
Ombudsman Mossel: “You cannot use capacity as an excuse all the time”
Ombudsman gives VROMI-ministry bad report card



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