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Local suppliers for coffee and snack machines, says Knops

Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Re­lations Raymond Knops does not share the criticism of Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Par­liament Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) regarding the tendering for coffee and snack machines for St. Eustatius and Saba.

In reply to Van Raak’s written questions, Knops denied that it concerned an international tendering. In the tendering advertise­ment for both the machines and the (re)filling of these machines, it was specifically requested that local suppli­ers participate.

“There is no international tendering. The purchasing and tendering policy of the National Department Ca­ribbean Netherlands RCN is to purchase locally as much as possible, especially in these crisis times,” stated Knops, adding that he had emphasised this in a letter to the public entities late April.

The tendering request for the coffee machines and snack vending machines for RCN personnel on the two islands was communicated in the three Windward Is­lands. Interested parties were specifically asked for the use of local parties.

“After a market consulta­tion, RCN wanted to make sure that all local parries were involved in this. Aside from the four interested parties from the market consultation, two other par­ties responded to the ad­vertisement. As such, RCN concluded that it had a complete view of local sup­pliers. The interested par­ties are from St. Maarten and St. Eustatius,” Knops stated.

He explained that also in the (re)filling of the ma­chines, it was stipulated as a condition that local sup­pliers be used to provide the ingredients for the ma­chines and to service the machines. “For example, supermarkets can fill the machines with goods that they sell locally.”

Responding to the written question by Van Raak as to why priority had been giv­en to installing coffee and snack machines in St. Eu­statius and Saba during the coronavirus crisis, Knops said the tendering was part of the regular processes for personnel. “The corona cri­sis didn’t limit this planned tendering.”

Knops also did not agree with Van Raak’s suggestion that installing coffee and snack machines appeared to be in stark contrast to the problematic situation in which entrepreneurs on the islands and the public enti­ties are finding themselves during this crisis.

He clarified that the Ca­ribbean Netherlands is re­ceiving assistance from the Netherlands. The measures from the first emergency package, which included payroll support, have been extended, and some addi­tional assistance measures have been added, such as the increase of the tempo­rarily fixed-cost compensa­tion up to a maximum of 50,000 euros and a small credits arrangement for small entrepreneurs.

The Dutch government has consideration for the public entities’ financial problems in connection with lower local (tax) revenues and increased expenditures due to the corona crisis. Talks are ongoing with the pub­lic entities on how to solve this. Plus, 1.3 million euros has been made available for emergency assistance to the most vulnerable in society. For Saba, this means an ad­ditional 226,000 euros, or US $298,592.

The Daily Herald.

Procurement policy RCN: 91 percent procured locally in first half of 2020
Police report of Friday, July 3rd  until Monday, July 6th  2020

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