MP Sarah Wescot-Williams.
PHILIPSBURG--United Democrats (UD) Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams has requested a meeting of one of Parliament's Ad Hoc Committees to obtain information on government’s plans for the construction of a new Parliament Building.
She has also requested the presence of Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure VROMI Egbert Doran in the meeting.
The MP said during her recent trip to the Netherlands she learnt of an invitation to tender issued on behalf of government for the project. She alluded to the Ad Hoc Committee of Parliament that deals with the preparation and construction of a new building for Parliament. “This committee has been in existence for a while and discussions regarding a new Parliament Building have been taking place in this committee for years now,” Wescot-Williams said in a press statement on Wednesday evening.
“As always, when information is not forthcoming, the country is abuzz with stories regarding this plan by the government of St. Maarten. What the general public knows, is what was gleaned from media reports,” said the MP.
“What I did upon my return is request of the parliamentary committee, which is chaired by MP William Marlin, to have a meeting of the committee to discuss what exactly it is that has been put out there by the government of St. Maarten, that includes three phases and the first one regards the construction of a new Parliament Building.”
Wescot-Williams said she requested the committee chair to convene the meeting as soon as possible since the deadline to submit documents was listed as June 9.
“I hope that with the many queries that are out there regarding this undertaking, in addition to I, as a Member of Parliament, asking for a meeting of the committee, the government and whichever other persons are involved in this process are very cautious about proceeding without giving at least the Parliament of St. Maarten insight into to what is taking place, who is involved, what it entails and what the financial implications are?”
She said before government should have had a financial picture to have issued an invitation to tender. “They should have an idea as to who they would be working with on this project and who the potential partners are. It cannot be that government opens up such a proposal and leaves it totally to be filled in by those who are going to be preparing the bidding process. It’s a lot of guessing from me right now because I don't have all of the information and can only go by what the government has put out, and then, of course, you hear so many different accounts surrounding this particular matter. As a Member of Parliament therefore my approach is one of requesting information from the government as they are supposed to give account to Parliament and I am asking for the minister of VROMI to be present in the meeting in order to provide answers to the questions that MPs have. In fact, I believe the prime minister as well should be called to give account and allay the many concerns that exist,” said Wescot-Williams.