THE HAGUE--The Settlement Committee of Assets and Liabilities of the Country the Netherlands Antilles is advising a thorough investigation of the NAf. 16 million that the Bureau Telecommunication and Post BT&P claims from Country St. Maarten.
The Division Committee stated this in its end report of December 2014, which was presented to the three legal successors of the dismantled Country the Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands on behalf of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, early January 2015.
The claim dates back to October 2010, when the Netherlands Antilles was dismantled. According to a certified annual account per October 9, 2010, of BT&P, there is an open claim on the Country St. Maarten of NAf. 16 million. The Settlement Committee found that there are different interpretations of that claim.
The tasks of this bureau, the collection of the concession and permit rights, were transferred to the Island Territory St. Maarten ahead of the dismantling on October 10, 2010. The Settlement Committee advised the legal successors of the Country the Netherlands Antilles to “thoroughly investigate” this dossier in the political decision-taking process.
A political decision will also have to be taken on the NAf. 8 million claim of the St. Maarten telephone company TelEm on the Country the Netherlands Antilles. Originally, this claim was set at NAf. 7 million, but the amount was increased to NAf. 8 million due to interest charges for the length of time that the claim was left open.
St. Maarten’s Minister of Finance has asked the Settlement Committee to include the claim in the Inventory Balance (“boedelbalans”) as a debt. The Committee has not decided on the claim with respect to the content, but it was of the opinion that St. Maarten should have consulted the other two legal successors before acknowledging this claim unilaterally. It was advised to take a political decision on the matter.
The Settlement Committee was notified of sizable claims and collectible amounts by the Social Insurance Bank SVB, the General Pension Fund of the Netherlands Antilles APNA and the Bureau Health Insurance BZV. It concerns claims of premiums that were not transferred and non-payments for the so-called fluctuating funds.
The SVB claimed over NAf. 156 million from the Country the Netherlands Antilles. The claim included a government contribution of NAf. 6.1 million for the co-insuring of family members, the obligatory covering of shortages of the health care funds ZV/OV of NAf. 67.2 million, unpaid elderly pension AOV/AWW premiums for civil servants of the Country the Netherlands Antilles of NAf. 25.1 million and the obligatory covering of shortages of the Medical Expenses Fund for government pensioners FZOG to the tune of NAf. 57.5 million.
The Settlement Committee decided not to include the claim of unpaid AOV/AWW premiums of NAf. 25.1 million as a debt in the Inventory Balance because of the “lacking of a decent substantiation.”
The other three claims of the SVB have been included in the Inventory Balance and have been allotted to the three legal successors based on the so-called generic division key: 73.3 per cent for Curaçao, 18.75 per cent for St. Maarten and 7.95 for the Netherlands.
The APNA has filed a claim of some NAf. 18 million in, among others, pension premiums and rent payment arrears of government services that were housed in the APNA complex in Curaçao. The Settlement Committee has decided to include NAf. 16.1 million in debts in the Inventory Balance.
The BZV Bureau has filed a claim of collectable subsidies of close to NAf. 117 million. The Settlement Committee has sought legal advice on the tenability of this claim, which was not included in the AVBZ Fund annual account. As such, the claim was found inadmissible and therefore not included in the Inventory Balance.
Another claim of the BZV Bureau regarding the premiums that were collected by the Federal Receiver and not transferred to BZV was included in the Inventory Balance. The exact amount of this claim was not specified in the report of the Settlement Committee.
The Settlement Committee decided that a settlement of possible goodwill between the pension funds of Curaçao APC, APS of St. Maarten and PCN of the Netherlands was not necessary as the three countries had already approved a definite division of the APNA assets.
The definite division and allotment of the funds managed by the SVB has not been concluded as yet, and neither has the division and allotment of the AVBZ Fund. Political decision-taking took place on the assets of the Central Bank of the Netherlands Antilles BNA, which continued as the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS). As such, there was no actual division of assets.
Allotted to the three legal successors of the Country the Netherlands Antilles were the assets of the Crime Fund. The assets of the Postal Savings Bank, the University of the Netherlands Antilles, the federal lottery Landsloterij and the Bureau for Intellectual Properties were 100 per cent allotted to Curaçao. Landsloterij had a negative asset of close to NAf. 10.6 million on October 9, 2010.
Windward Islands Airways Winair was allotted to St. Maarten for 92.05 per cent. The remaining 7.95 per cent is owned by the Netherlands on behalf of St. Eustatius and Saba. Winair had a negative asset of NAf. 16.5 million on October 9, 2010.
Aruba, even though it stepped out of the Netherlands Antilles in 1986, also has a minor role in the division of assets and liabilities exercise. Aruba still owes the Netherlands Antilles NAf. 29.5 million, which was included in the Inventory Balance. It concerns advances that the Netherlands Antilles paid on behalf of Aruba for, among other things, the Solidarity Fund, the Coast Guard and the Joint Court of Justice. The Settlement Committee advised political decision-taking on this issue.
Based on the Inventory Balance, the Settlement Committee has drafted a proposal for the allotment of the economic values of the assets and liabilities to the three legal successors, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands.
The three countries will now have to come to a settlement agreement that will include the calculation and payment of mutual compensations. The permanent assets, such as buildings and properties, will be transferred to the legal successor, where these assets were located on October 9, 2010.
Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk informed the Dutch Parliament last week that the three countries strived to discuss the report of the Settlement Committee early this year. The Settlement Committee started its work in 2011.