St. Kitts Continues to Fight Corruption – Fires CEO of SIDF
The chief executive officer at the St Kitts band Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), Terrance Crossman, has been terminated following an in depth investigation into the SIDF.
After being subject to heavy criticisms for years due to lack of transparency and accountability, the Kittian government launched an investigation into the SIDF. This investigation was a promise made by the Team Unity administration and now Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris prior to the 2015 elections.
The dismissal of the SIDF CEO was announced just days after Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris indicated during a press conference that ongoing investigations into the foundation were just about completed and the SIDF will soon be brought under Parliamentary scrutiny. In the spring of 2015, Harris noted that the review of the SIDF operations over the period 2010-2014 had revealed some troubling initial findings.
“The review has revealed that the SIDF was operated in a manner unbecoming of a multi-million dollar entity. The board of councilors and senior management operated with scant regard for proper procedures and best practices expected of those with fiduciary responsibilities,” Harris said.
While the details pertaining to Crossman’s termination were not announced, nor were the precise details of the investigation’s findings, Harris noted that there was a large absence of control at the SIDF, and that the organization had not produced audited financial statements since 2013. The SIDF CEO seemed to have lost control over the funds of the SIDF.
The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) is a private organization that earns money through the sale of St Kitts-Nevis citizenships. The organization was touted by former PM and now leader of the opposition, Dr Denzil Douglas. The private organization outside scope of government oversight amassed hundreds of millions of dollars through granting citizenships, which are a national commodity and privilege.
St Kitts-Nevis’s citizenship programme has received some criticisms in the past due to corruption, and this latest move suggest that the current government is making good on its promise to clean-up the programme.