Legal controversy for quay

Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) has sent the Curacao Dry-dock Company (CDM) a 30-million guilder demand note. The amount is for past due quay charges and lease of the so-called EEG- quay that both CDM and CPA lay claim to.

The quay in question belongs actually to the government, says commissioner Eugene Rhuggenaath (PAR), who has both public enterprises in his portfolio. The quay was included in the property when CPA was established, but it is part of the CDM operation. CDM says that the intention was always that CDM would become the owner. Rhuggenaath says that it is very important that the island government clarifies this. The commissioner hopes that the matter can be solved within two months.

“Now is the time. A harbour policy and a long-range development view is currently being drawn up. Besides, the 30 millions appear for years as facility in the bookkeeping and also the accountants wants this to be clarified, because this cannot continue to show up forever in the annual reports. Also CDM must take a new direction, if possible soon and preferably with an international partner and needs therefore more clarity”, said the commissioner. As part of the privatization of CDM, a preparatory committee is established that would also draw up an inventory. The quay came up for discussion again, and the BC decided to ask the Government Compatibility Bureau (SOAB) for advice. The commissioner has asked CPA to wait for the advice, but the Board of Directors of CPA has authorized management to start with legal proceedings.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
As commissioner, Rhuggenaath regrets the fact that two public enterprises are engaged in a legal controversy, without first having awaited the Soab’s final conclusion. But Rhuggenaath can understand this, because the dispute has been dragging for years. For him as chairman of the board of CPA, this is a conflict of interest. Rhuggenaath was not in the meeting when it was decided to apply CDM for payment. "But as chairman of the board, you ought to put the interest of the business first and take measures when you are of the opinion that you have a claim. As commissioner I want to prevent that the two public enterprises would unnecessarily see each other in court.”

(Source: National newspaper Amigoe)

July 12, 2008

 

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