COLE BAY – Businessman Michael Ferrier has taken note of a Daily Herald story in the February 24, 2015 edition which reports that the Harbour Group of Companies intends to pay security company Checkmate US$ 2.2 million more in 2015 than they got for their services in 2014.
“Just around election time last year, Checkmate was sold and rumors of who was (were) the buyer(s) abounded. Some names thrown out as possible new shareholders were: Oneil Arrindell, Mark Mingo, Frans Richardson. Personally I do not think Mark Mingo, the CEO of the Harbour Group of companies, nor Member of Parliament Frans Richardson would be that naive to think that their financial involvement with a company that supplies services to the Government Owned Harbour Group of Companies would not raise all kinds of red flags.
“So I am discounting that, although for transparency sake, it behooves the Harbour Group of Companies to request Checkmate Security Company to disclose who the ultimate owners are (the humans, not the companies).
“And being that the Harbour Group of Companies is Government owned, when an existing contract has to change so much that the cost to the client (The Harbour Group) increases by 300%, should the Harbour Group not put the security contract out on bid again, thereby offering all security companies a chance to bid on what is obviously a very lucrative contract?
“I again quote Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs' words in his New Year message: "Good governance and integrity are priorities to ensure the needs of the community are met with the utmost of honesty and fairness, in order for St. Maarten to get where it needs to be".
“The Harbour Group of Companies being a Government owned group of companies should be held to the same standards the Prime Minister spoke about. Be transparent: tell us in detail why the cost goes up by 300% and who the ultimate owners of the Checkmate Security Company are. And as Checkmate is also at the airport, will the contract there also increase as dramatically?” Businessman Michael Ferrier said.