No investigation Court of Audit on UTS policy
THE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - The Court of Audit of Curaçao is not allowed to investigate the policy of telecommunication company UTS. The Supreme Court in the Netherlands has decided today.
In December 2014, the Parliament of Curaçao adopted a motion in which the Court of Auditors was requested to conduct an in-depth investigation into UTS' policy. The reason for this request was several negative reports in the media about the functioning of the public company.
UTS has requested that the investigation is denied. According to the company, the Court is not competent to carry out the investigation. The Court of First Instance of Curaçao has agreed with UTS. That decision was confirmed by the Common Court of Justice. The Supreme Court today rejected the appeal in cassation against this. The decision is therefore final.
The reasons mentioned by the Supreme Court for the decision are the following. The task of the Court of Audit is to control the management of public funds. UTS does not manage public funds as a private company. However, the government holds the majority of the shares in UTS. Those shares are part of the public funds. That is why UTS is obliged to provide information to the Court of Audit pursuant to the National Ordinance on the General Audit Chamber of Curaçao. This concerns information that may be relevant to the Court's audit of the exercise of the shareholders' rights by the government. An investigation into the policy of UTS itself is not legally possible. The National Ordinance on the General Audit Chamber of Curaçao does not give the Court the power to investigate this.