PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake says the actions by a lone board member of the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) to request the Governments Accountants Foundation known as SOAB to carry out a forensic investigation, and also into the purchase-to-pay process and remuneration process is premature.
“I was not aware of this process. Proper procedure has not been followed, and this is an illegal procedure. A SMHDF board member has taken it upon himself after misleading another board member of the housing foundation who is unwell, and who was under the impression that the board member would speak with the Minister of Housing first about his plans to take this type of action.
“The chairman of the board resigned some time back. On whose authority is this person acting? Two board members can’t take these types of decisions! The legal board is up to seven members.
“I have requested the management of SOAB with immediate effect to withdraw the current process because it does not have my blessing and goes against proper procedure. SMHDF does not have a complete board in place and as such a decision of that nature is not valid. I was informed after the fact, and this is not how you do things based on hearsay and not following the right procedure.
“I was only informed today, Friday, December 12 after meeting a board member in the parking lot who then brought me a copy of the letter about the aforementioned action. The letter was dated yesterday, Thursday. The Council of Ministers has already decided that it will leave the appointment of a new board for the SMDHF to the next Council when they are sworn in.
“The country is on a slippery slope. Everybody seems to be on a witch hunt and trying to bring each other down. This is sad to see. Some will sell their soul in order to get into government. This type of thing has to stop. We need to raise the bar in politics. It’s wrong to slander people left and right on social media, and people go along with the melee thinking it’s a fact. With this statement I set the record straight,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake concluded.