Integrity Chamber Completes Investigation into N.V. GEBE 

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Integrity Chamber has completed its investigation into N.V. G.E.B.E. (hereafter GEBE). The  investigation was started to determine the state of compliance to integrity-related rules and  procedures within the company. 

The investigation spanned the years 2017-2022 and focused on the roles and responsibilities of the  Managing Board, Supervisory Board, and the Shareholder, as stated in the applicable legislative  framework. Based on the span of the investigation period, the findings presented in the report covers the tenure of several Managing Boards, Supervisory Boards, and Shareholder Representatives/Ministers.  

The investigation concluded that there is a general lack of compliance to integrity-related rules and  procedures.

The main factors that played a role in this conclusion are: 

  • Missing and/or not implemented policies and procedures that ensure integrity within the  company such as, a Code of Conduct, complaint procedures, confidentiality policy; Non-compliance to the already existing policies and procedures, in part due to a lack of  awareness; 
  • An unhealthy company culture due to a lack of trust and communication between Management  and employees; 
  • The selection of Managing and Supervisory Board members with insufficient regard to specific expertise and qualities needed to manage the diverse responsibilities within GEBE; and Political influence, particularly in the selection of Managing and Supervisory Board members. 

The above has led to administrative misconducts such as, undesirable behaviour, the abuse of  authority, and the leaking of confidential information. The negative perception of the company is  another unintended consequence. 

Based on the findings of the investigation, the Integrity Chamber provided advice to improve  compliance within GEBE.

The advice included the following: 

  1. Complete the legislative framework: Develop and implement the missing policies and  procedures such as, Managing and Supervisory Board Regulations, a Code of Conduct, and  Company Complaint Procedures. 
  2. Enforce compliance to the framework: Appoint a Compliance officer to ensure compliance  within the company on all levels and apply sanctions for non-compliance. 
  3. Promote a healthy company culture: Establish company norms and values, facilitate employee  trainings, promote open communication, and appoint a Confidential Advisor. 4. Prevent political influence: Create and publicize profiles for the Managing and Supervisory  Boards members based on the required background and experience and ensure a transparent  and accountable process and selection of candidates.

The Integrity Chamber trusts that the above advice will lead to the necessary improvements within  GEBE, increased compliance to integrity-related rules and procedures, decreased occurrences of administrative misconducts, and an improved perception of the company. 

For more information about the Integrity Chamber, visit the website at www.integritychamber.sx