THE HAGUE–Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) is questioning the tendering process to purchase hot drink and snack machines for the National Government Department Caribbean Netherlands RCN in St. Eustatius and Saba.
Baffled by the advertisement in the local media this and last week, Van Raak submitted four questions to Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops on Tuesday, asking him about the usefulness of installing coffee machines and vending machines for drinks and snacks for the RCN offices in St. Eustatius and Saba.
“Can you comprehend the surprise of residents of Saba and Statia that the RCN in this time of the coronavirus pandemic gives priority to the tendering of coffee, drinks and snacks machines for its own personnel?”
Van Raak asked the state secretary whether he was aware of the immense problems that local entrepreneurs are facing on the two islands during the current crisis. He mentioned that the Public Entity Saba has been having a hard time finding the means to cover the additional cost associated with the COVID-19 crisis.
The Member of Parliament (MP) questioned the expensive international tendering for the small islands in four separate parts. “For how many RCN employees are the coffee and vending machines meant?”
The argument of the RCN for installing these machines, as stated in the advertisement, is that it wants to offer its employees good-quality coffee, snacks and drinks. Van Raak wanted to know why RCN didn’t opt to have a local business supply coffee, drinks and snacks. “Why do you think that RCN employees on Saba and Statia would rather have drinks and snacks from machines than from local suppliers?”