Opinion: Dillydallying

POSTED: 02/17/14 2:21 PM

It is no secret that there is no love lost between the government and the Corporate Governance Council. The sad result is now that the members of the current council have announced that they call it quits. They have had enough of the dillydallying with their mandate and they leave it now up to the government to take the next step.

The council that has now stepped down was established in February 2010. Its members were Louis Duzanson, Minerva Monte-Vlaun, Francis Carty, Maria van der Sluis-Plantz and Agnes Gumbs.

At the installation of the members, then leader of government William Marlin noted that the council had a huge task ahead of it. “You are the first to be appointed to the council and what it will become depends mainly on you.”

Well, that point is debatable. Not everybody was happy with a body designed to advise about the appointment and dismissal of managing directors to government-owned companies. DP-MP Leroy de Weever has always been one of the most outspoken opponents.

And while the Island Council happily appointed the members to the council, it quickly became clear that it was not a government priority to give is the tools it needed to function properly. Chairman Louis Duzanson, ever the diplomat, has never said much about this in public, but the council was deprived of funds from the get go. There was no money for an office, no money to develop a decent web site, no money for anything.

And when Duzanson reminded the government in April of last year that its term was about to end (on November 16 of last year) the government did nothing to make sure there was a new team ready to take over. Instead, the government prolonged the term of the council until February 16 (yesterday) and it kept dragging its feet with the appointment of new members.

Now the council members have had enough and they give up. If the Corporate Governance Council heads for the same destiny as, say, the Monument Council, it could take years before there ever is a functioning board in place again. That is the way things go in St. Maarten. It is not right, but it is a reality.


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