PM to Establish Process Whereby Information from Government Owned Companies Will Go Directly to Parl

Gives Information on the Structure of Government Owned Companies

With the discussions surrounding the Amendments to the 2013 Budget reaching a high-point and with many of those discussions being centered on Government Owned Companies, the Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams clarified the role and structure of Government owned companies and their relationship vis a vis Government.


The Prime Minister also discussed recently steps that are currently being undertaken to establish a process whereby information from Government Owned Companies reaches Parliament directly.

"Most of what we see as Government owned companies used to, in fact, be services that used to be provided by Government; airport, telephone companies, and harbor were for example all services that were provided by the Government. However, it was decided some time ago to create what we now refer to as Government Owned Companies in order to carry out the activities and services that are required while not making a part of the Government Budget. In this structure a Government Owned Company is operated as any company, with the Government being the shareholder in that company. So in this case the Government is the shareholder and the can make profit and the shareholder can then be given dividend", explained the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams also gave information concerning the established Corporate Governance Code and the Corporate Governance Council. "Government has also structured a Corporate Governance Code and a Corporate Governance Council in order to ensure that the operation of these companies operate according to the law and good corporate governance. We are now also developing a dividend policy while some companies have in fact already started to pay out dividends.

The Prime Minister further expanded on steps that she is overseeing in order to ensure that the information regarding Government Owned Companies is made available to Parliament in a timely and open fashion. "During the Budget Debates Parliament expressed frustration at not being satisfied with regards to receiving information of the Government Owned Companies. Therefore, I will establish a process whereby the Government Owned Companies will present their year reports and financials to shareholders and we will make this information available to Parliament. A member of Parliament can approach Government Owned Companies and request to look at financials out of their own accord, but I think that Government as the shareholder should facilitate that process and that is what I intend to do," emphasized the PM.