On Wednesday 5 October 2016, VANEPS organized a seminar on the announced National Ordinance Optimization Governmental Entities. This ordinance concerns both the so-called state-owned corporations as well as foundations and associations financed with governmental funds. The seminar got an extra dimension, as the government postponed the presentation of this Ordinance to the Governor as a result of the national strike in Curaçao. Over 50 participants were informed on the consequences of the Ordinance for their organizations by Frank Kunneman and Tom Peeters, partners at VANEPS. Time was also reserved to share and discuss preferable and possible modifications to the Ordinance.

Frank Kunneman: “In its current form, this new National Ordinance has very profound consequences for the governmental entities in Curaçao. To be able to contribute to the public debate about the Ordinance, it is important that all stakeholders are well informed about these consequences. Therefore, I particularly focused my contribution to the seminar on the setup, content, and consequences of the Act.” Subsequently, specialized real estate lawyer Tom Peeters explained what rules the organizations have to meet in procurement procedures, according to the Ordinance. In this regard, the Ordinance imposes several restrictions that have to be taken into account when buying goods and services and realizing (construction) work. Although the National Ordinance aims at transparency and precision, some procurement rules do not contribute to that purpose and can result in issues regarding the practical application.

The seminar was concluded with an extensive question and discussion round. For this part, former Prime Minister Etienne Ys was specially invited. Together with the two speakers, he discussed the various challenges the Ordinance entails. For example, the drafting of the legislative bill and directors’ and officers’ liability were discussed. Because of the broad interest and the many questions from the participants, VANEPS currently considers the options to follow up on this seminar with in-house sessions at individual companies.