Dr. Petit addresses resignation as Chairman of Supervisory Board USZV

Dr Michel Petit

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The executing body Social and Health Insurance USZV is an independent administrative body that has an implementing structure with a corporate personality and is independent in what concerns its internal organization, the management of its resources and representation of its interest.

Among its many tasks, it’s mainly responsible for the execution of the social and health insurances of Country St. Maarten, and to accomplish this mission the organization is under the leadership of a Director, Deputy Director, assisted by a management team and overseen by a Supervisory Board.

The Director is charged with the management of the financial resources of the organization and is competent to act in these matters by law. He is also accountable by law to the Minister of Public Health and Social Affairs.

The supervisory board supervises the general course of events of the organization, monitors the funds, properties and other resources entrusted to the organization.

By law, AB. 2013 GT69 (National Ordinance regulating USZV), the Director adopts management rules after hearing the Supervisory Board. Those regulations are complementary to the USZV ordinance and should be published on USZV website (SZV.org).

The rules governing the Director clearly state that the implementing body will be managed by a Director under the supervision of a Supervisory Board and to allow the Supervisory Board to carry out its task as stated in Article 7, Paragraph 3 of the Rules regulating the functioning of the Director, the Director shall timely notify the Supervisory Board of such information on facts and circumstances regarding the implementing body of the organization, which the board may need as required by law to properly carry out its task.

I joined the Supervisory Board in 2011 and became Chairman in December 2014. As of August 15, 2016, my resignation as Chairman of the Board became effective. I resigned because I could no longer dedicate the time that would have been needed to accomplish my stipulated tasks due to the over-reaching and undue influence of the Minister of Public Health and Social Affairs on the Supervisory Board, and on the implementing body of the organization and the time required to rein in the management to follow proper procedures as is stipulated by law would be too time consuming.

Under those circumstances, it was not possible for me to function effectively in accordance with the law. As such I made the hard and regrettable decision to resign from this vital organization that has tremendous health, social and financial responsibility.

Based on the country’s Civil Code, supervisory directors can be held personally liable for mismanagement of funds. I was made aware by the press of inappropriate actions of the implementing body of the organization. Due to this legal reason, I will file a formal complaint with the Office of the Public Prosecutor/National Detectives to protect myself from future claims because these actions were done under my watch, and also to protect my integrity and respected personal image.

The people of St. Maarten, who worked hard their entire life to have something to look forward to when they reach pension age deserve to have their Pension Fund money be used following proper procedures, and in a very prudent manner knowing that no National decree based on the LAOV (old-age pension law) with regard to investment of the financial means of the AOV funds was never issued.