GREAT BAY, St. Maarten (June 23, 2012) -Finance Minister Roland Tuitt confirmed that Taxand, a Tax consulting firm has written the government requesting payment for services rendered. That letter is now being handled by the government’s legal counsel and a reply will be sent based on their advice and went on to gave a lengthy explanation of how a minister can and should make an expense.
“As far as the decrees are concerned, you have to make a distinction between a decree that gives the authority to do something in the government, and that decree is a ministerial decree”. “That is where the Council of Ministers take a decision, and state that they agree with a project, service, or whatever it is”. “Once the council of ministers agrees, and the decree goes out, that still does not mean that you could go ahead and pay something”. “It means that you as a minister of Finance, or any other minister, have to follow the legal path to make sure that the payments can take place, and that the services that are requested will take place in a efficient and prudent way”. He continued; “As far as Taxand is concerned, it wasn’t budgeted for, so then it behooves the minister to go and make a budget amendment”. “The budget amendment will have to be sent to the Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) and they would have to approve the budget amendment, so that it can go to Parliament, and parliament has to approve the budget amendment”. After Parliaments approval (because of the high bills that Taxand was sending) you will have to get a Lands Besluits (LB) from the Governor, signed by the Governor, and the minister of finance, and then once those things are in place, it can go over to payment” the minister of finance made clear.