On Wednesday April 10th during the Council of Ministers Press Briefing, Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin addressed the “Implementation of Governance Conditions at the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project”
In previous COM Press Briefings, it was stated before that one of the requirements in moving forward with the grant from the Trust fund for the airport was a corporate governance review or assessment would be done and the findings be implemented. This review or assessment has been completed and with the approval of all stakeholders, the summary of the agreements made during a meeting between representatives of the Government of Sint Maarten and representatives of the Government of the Netherlands on March 27th 2019 in New York City can be released.
The agreements are as follows;
1. An interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will be appointed by PJIAE for a period of two years through the Royal Schiphol Group. Simultaneously, PJIAE will start searching for and hire a permanent CFO in accordance with the established procedures under the Articles of Incorporation of PJIAH and PJIAE and in accordance with the reviewed “profielschets” (cf. point 4 below). The selected candidate for the permanent CFO position will serve as a local counterpart to the interim CFO and will take over his/her responsibilities after two years. The appointment of the interim CFO will have to take place in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation of PJIAH and PJIAE (i.e. in accordance with Article 7 the interim CFO will be a member of the Board of Directors), and will have to be screened.
Legal counsel to the airport and legal counsel to the Government will advise on the most expedient way to appoint the interim CFO in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation. The remuneration of the interim CFO will be in accordance with the regular salary norms of the Airport and the costs of remuneration will have to be paid by the Airport. Before April 24, the candidate for interim CFO should be in the screening process.
2. The security screening of all members of the supervisory and management boards of PJIAH and PJIAE should start with in short and will be done by the VDSM. Before April 24th, PJIAH and PJIAE will formally request the Minister of General Affairs to initiate a screening process by VDSM. Based on this formal request, the Minister of General Affairs will request VDSM to initiate the screening process. Legal counsel to the airport and legal counsel to the Government will advise on the approval of screening by individual board members and the steps that need to be taken in case an individual board does not pass the screening.
3. The Council of Ministers will appoint a task force and adopt a high-level implementation plan on the Corporate Governance Assessment conducted by the World Bank before April 24th. The terms of reference for the task force and the high-level implementation plan is being prepared by the NRPB and will be shared simultaneously with the Council of Ministers and the Netherlands for feedback, prior to the approval of the Council of Ministers. The task force will also be instructed to review the expenditures and remuneration of PJIAH. The NRPB will propose that the task force will be financed by the Trust Fund, possibly through Emergency Recovery Project I. The Netherlands notes that it does not have a position on the preferred legal structure of the Airport, this is up to the Government of Sint Maarten.
4. The terms of reference (i.e. profielschetsen) for members of the supervisory and management boards of PJIAH and PJIAE should be reviewed and upgraded to international standards by the Royal Schiphol Group and/or the World Bank and/or an external recruitment agency. The airport will submit the existing terms of reference to the NRPB and the NRPB will request Schiphol to review and upgrade the terms of reference before April 24th.
5. The Netherlands will provide a candidate for a new member to the supervisory board of PJIAH. This candidate will require the approval of the Council of Ministers, and has to be screened and appointed in accordance with the applicable rules and procedures. Remuneration will be the same as for other members of the supervisory board. The Netherlands will inform the candidate of this standard remuneration. If PJIAH’s remuneration constitutes an issue for the candidate, The Netherlands can discuss additional measures with the candidate. Before April 24th, the appointment process will have to be initiated.