‘Udecott bigger than Cabinet’

Calder HartJanuary 24, 2009

HDC clears Rowley
In a written submission filed on Wednesday afternoon with the Uff Commission of Inquiry into Udecott and the construction sector, the HDC effectively cleared former planning and development minister Dr Keith Rowley of any wrongdoing in the Cleaver Heights project by attributing apparent million-dollar discrepancies, in the contract total for the project, to “{two errors” contained in a letter of award drawn up by the HDC and addressed to the project contractor, NH International Limited.

‘Manning must apologise to Rowley’
Prime Minister Patrick Manning must publicly apologise to Diego Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley for accusing him of wrongdoing in the Cleaver Heights housing project in Arima, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal insists.

Where does Udecott get its Billions?

Udecott broke its own rules—COO

No tenders submitted
…$46 million advance for Brian Lara Stadium

Hafeez Karamath Ltd (HKL) became a main contractor for the much delayed Brian Lara Stadium and Cricket Academy in Tarouba even though it submitted proposals and not tenders, in breach of the tender rules of the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT).

Uff Inquiry to probe Belmont Police Station

January 25, 2009

Contradictory statements
Does the Government have a coherent policy to deal with the global financial crisis or are they still stumbling around figuring out what to do?

No apology from Prime Minister
PRIME MINISTER Patrick Manning on Friday did not apologise to Diego Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley about the disappearance of $10 million from the Cleaver Heights housing project.

Rowley: Udecott ignored my instructions
UDECOTT chairman Calder Hart approved a special request made by the China Jiangsu Company Limited for an additional $8 million for its work at a Morvant housing project in defiance of an instruction not to do so from the company’s line minister back in March 2005, according to documents lodged with the Uff Commission of Inquiry last week.

January 26, 2009

‘Yes, tender process was faulty’
Hart on Customs and Excise project

Calder Hart, chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT), acknowledged that the tender process for the $100 million Customs and Excise building project was “faulty” when it was quashed in December 2002.

Karamath got $12M contract for Belmont Police Station

January 27, 2009

Udecott can trade in guns, dynamite and bhaji
STATE company Udecott can trade in guns, ammunition, dynamite, oil, gas, bhaji and pumpkin, its chief operating officer Neelanda Rampaul yesterday said as she asserted that not even Prime Minister Patrick Manning can tell the Udecott board members, led by Calder Hart, what to do.

$46m paid before contract signed
Senior Counsel Gilbert Peterson, attorney for sacked government minister Dr Keith Rowley, produced a Udecott document yesterday, to claim that contractor Hafeez Karamath Ltd was provided with $46 million as part of an advance payment, even before the contract for the Brian Lara Cricket Academy was signed.

Udecott paid Karamath $125M
UDECOTT paid a total of $125 million in unauthorised advanced payments to Hafeez Karamath Limited (HKL) for work to be done at the Brian Lara Stadium project, notwithstanding the fact that the company guaranteeing the payments, had assets of only $36.8 million.

‘Udecott bigger than Cabinet’

Khan: Powerful UDeCOTT an octopus with many tentacles

Brian Lara Stadium to cost taxpayers $700m
Construction of the Brian Lara Stadium and Cricket Academy in Tarouba, which had an original estimated cost of $275 million, is now projected to cost taxpayers some $700 million.

Uff: How much was Calder Hart paid?

What Is Your Salary?
Calder Hart, chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT), will have to disclose the details of his monthly salary and perks as he begins his testimony before the Commission of Enquiry into the corporation and the construction sector today.

January 28, 2009

CH got $368m contract because of Sunway–Hart
Executive chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of T&T Calder Hart admitted yesterday that Udecott gave CH–a local company, which failed to meet all the requirements–a $368 million contract to build the Legal Affairs Towers on the Government Campus in Port-of-Spain.

Firm pre-qualified for $320.7m project

Hart: Different strokes, for different folks
UDECOTT awarded a $368 million contract to a contractor who was not even qualified to bid for the project, its executive chairman Calder Hart testified yesterday at the Uff Inquiry, as he admitted to applying some rules to some contractors and other rules to others.

Hart: Govt gives us directives
UDeCOTT Enquiry Day 12

HDC HUNT
Housing Minister announces another probe into Cleaver Heights project

Govt brings back Lindquist to probe Cleaver Heights

Minister attacks HDC
THE UFF Commission of Inquiry into Udecott and the construction sector yesterday got more complicated as Government argued that the State-owned Housing Development Corporation (HDC) submission to the inquiry on the Cleaver Heights housing project was “inaccurate” and further announced it will hire forensic expert Bob Lindquist to investigate the project.

Mark: Govt trying to get at Rowley
Opposition Senator Wade Mark said yesterday the decision of the Government to employ Canadian forensic investigator Robert Lindquist to probe the Cleaver Heights Housing Project was designed “to get at (former minister) Dr Keith Rowley”, and was a blatant abuse and misuse of taxpayers’ money.

7 Responses to “‘Udecott bigger than Cabinet’”


  • Hart admits to 5 salaries
    Member of the Uff Commission of Enquiry Israel Khan, SC, yesterday waded into executive chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott) Calder Hart, telling him he had a knack for breaching established rules. This, as hearing of the Commission of Enquiry into the Construction Sector and Udecott continued. Khan told Hart that sacked government minister Dr Keith Rowley had been vindicated in the probe. “It seems to me that you have a knack, Mr Hart—with the greatest respect—for breaking your own rules and ignoring sagacious advice given to you, by lawyers, by ministers, everybody,” Khan said. “If we find that as a fact, that is a serious indictment against you.” Hart responded quickly: “If you made that indictment, it is serious…There is no question about that.”

    Same fax number for UDeCOTT and CH

    Dial 624-8239
    UDECOTT chairman Calder Hart yesterday admitted to the Uff Commission of Inquiry, that his personal fax number appears to be the same as that of a Malaysian contracting firm, which was awarded a whopping $368 million by the Udecott Board.

    Prove It, I’ll Resign
    Hart at UDeCOTT Enquiry on allegations of breach of tender rules and regulations

    Hart: I will resign
    IN THE WAKE of fresh bombshells into the affairs of mega state entity Udecott, at the Uff Commission of Inquiry, the company’s executive chairman Calder Hart yesterday said he will resign, if it is found as a fact, that the company broke its own rules in handling its multi billion-dollar project portfolio.

    Conrad Enill: It was not me
    ENERGY MINISTER Conrad Enill yesterday said he never told Udecott chairman Calder Hart that Government’s procurement rules did not apply to Udecott.

    Imbert to take stand
    Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert is expected to appear before the Commission of Enquiry into Udecott and the Construction Sector this afternoon.

    Govt starts talks with Lindquist
    The Government pulled forensic investigator Robert Lindquist out of retirement to conduct its planned investigation into the Cleaver Heights Housing project, a Government source confirmed yesterday.

    Row over hiring of forensic investigators
    Cleaver Heights project debate

    A forensic investigator is already engaged by the Commission of Enquiry into UDeCOTT to examine the details of the Cleaver Heights Housing Development Project.

    …Ramesh: Govt using Lindquist as a shield

  • Stop Cleaver Heights money waste
    The Government’s decision to hire Canadian forensic accountant Robert Lindquist to probe the Cleaver Heights housing project is indeed strange. Minister of Planning, Housing and the Environment, Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde, told the Senate on Tuesday that the Government engaged the forensic investigator because of what she described as “discrepancies” in the submission to the Udecott Commission of Enquiry by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

    Sahadeo: I did not advise Hart on guidelines
    Former minister in the Ministry of Finance Christine Sahadeo is denying any claim that she may have advised executive chairman of Udecott Calder Hart that the Government’s tender rules were to be used as guidelines and were not mandatory.

    Lawyers take Khan to task

    Khan refuses to step down

    Lawsuit in the works
    Israel Khan SC refuses to step down…

    Uff: Udecott, a law unto itself
    CHAIRMAN of the Uff Commission of Inquiry into Udecott, Prof John Uff, yesterday said the company appears to be a law onto itself, as Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert gave evidence before him.

    Uff, Imbert on opposing sides of debate
    Prof John Uff, the chairman of the Commission of Enquiry into the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) said he had the impression that the corporation “was a law unto itself” when it came to amending specific contracts for construction projects.

    Mark: Bid to cover up the truth
    THE request made by UDeCOTT’s lawyers to have Senior Counsel Israel Khan removed is a ploy being used by Prime Minister Patrick Manning to cover up the truth, claims Senator Wade Mark.

    Concerned Daly to set to testify
    Senior Counsel Martin Daly has written to the Commission of Enquiry into UDeCOTT and the construction sector taking issue with and expressing his alarm at submission made by UDeCOTT’s attorney, Andrew Goddard QC, in his opening submission.

  • Who runs Trinidad and Tabago? Who sold and is selling it out?

  • Put spotlight on UDeCOTT salaries
    We are surprised at concerns revealed during the current Commission of Enquiry into the Construction Industry and UDeCOTT about the apparent reluctance to facilitate disclosure of the salaries of senior staffers at UDeCOTT. It is public knowledge that the salaries of all our MPs and ministers, judges and magistrates, and public servants are routinely reported in Parliament.

    Hart: I do not have to obey Rowley
    EVEN THOUGH Dr Keith Rowley was once the line minister for Udecott, Udecott executive chairman Calder Hart this week said he has never been under any obligation to obey any direct instruction given to him by Rowley.

    Private state companies must be reviewed
    THE INCOHERENT argument made by Udecott this month defies belief. In what can only be interpreted as some form of legal ventriloquism, the company argued that it does not have to take direct instruction from ministers yet somehow it remains accountable to Government.

  • Karen: Hart can do what he likes
    Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira said Udecott executive chairman Calder Hart “strictly speaking” has the authority to act on his own without listening to anyone.

    ‘Hart justified in not taking directions’
    Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira says UDeCOTT chairman Calder Hart was justified when he said he does not have to take directions from any minister.

    Daly: Board can refuse minister
    …but Karen proves otherwise in Parliament

    Senior Counsel Martin Daly, a former state enterprise chairman, says Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira’s declaration in the Parliament yesterday, that the National Insurance Board (NIB) cannot just do what it wants if it were to receive shares in Republic Bank, shows that all State-owned enterprises must take directions from the Government.

    Sahadeo slams Hart’s claim on tender rules
    Former minister in the Ministry of Finance Christine Sahadeo is taking Udecott executive chairman Calder Hart to task for claiming the Government’s Standard Procurement Procedures were not mandatory.

    Daly: Regulate public $$
    President of the Law Association Martin Daly says public funds should be spent through ministries. Daly said this at the Commission of Enquiry into the Construction Sector and Udecott at Winsure Building in Port-of-Spain.

    HKL evasive on ‘preferential treatment’ by Udecott

  • Sahadeo: Udecott’s tender rules not approved
    FORMER MINISTER in the Ministry of Finance, Christine Sahadeo, yesterday testified that she informed the Udecott chairman, Calder Hart, who attended a meeting at which she clearly outlined that the Government’s standard procurement rules were to apply to all state enterprises like Udecott.

    I see nothing improper
    Former Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott) director and attorney John Mair said yesterday he saw no problems with a suggestion by Udecott’s executive chairman Calder Hart that former Housing and Planning minister Dr Keith Rowley meet with Hafeez Karamath Ltd (HKL), who was a failed bidder in the Customs and Excise project.

  • A law unto itself
    If the Uff Commission of Inquiry were stopped right now, the people of Trinidad and Tobago might be well-satisfied with what has been revealed so far – assuming, of course, that proper official action was taken based on this information.

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