Corruption, Mismanagement and Waste

July 31, 2010

UDECOTTMadness in Sportt–Anil
Roberts added: “Errors, omissions, impropriety and downright corrupt practices… from the Caribbean Games, which never came off, to the legacy flag at Hasely Crawford Stadium, to the hiring of interns, the leasing of expensive SUVs, duplication of duties/responsibilities and the creation of a ghost roof at the stadium.”

…’Prophetess would be proud’
SPORTS Minister Anil Roberts yesterday literally didn’t know if to laugh or cry as he exposed $65 million in a clutch of dubious deals at the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) in a hard-hitting speech in the Lower House.

…$2m flag still haunts Sports Company
The scandal and embarrassment of the $2 million legacy flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and the operations of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago continue.

…Sportt played by the rules
Former Sport Minister Gary Hunt last night expressed surprise at the disclosures with respect to the Sport Company of T&T (Sportt).

…Former SPORTT execs deny Minister’s claims

UTT paid Pena’s rent
WORKS and Transport Minister Jack Warner yesterday alleged the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), during the tenure of the former PNM government, paid rent for the Reverend Juliana Pena — spiritual adviser of then Prime Minister Patrick Manning — for one year on a property owned by eminent attorney Bruce Procope.

July 22, 2010

Ministry questions $30M AC units
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh will meet with the Education Facilities Company Ltd regarding the completion of secondary schools which require $30 million each for the installation of “highly sophisticated air-conditioning systems.”

$6m nuts and bolts scam at T&TEC–AG
Nuts, bolts and washers were bought to the tune of $6 million by direct purchase rather than competitive bidding in T&TEC street-lighting project, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said on Tuesday.

Rahael Group: AG misleading
THE Rahael Holdings Limited Group of Companies yesterday said statements made by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan about the group in the Senate on Tuesday were “inaccurate and misleading.”

NIPDEC defends its actions in award of contracts
The National Insurance Property Development Company Ltd (NIPDEC) has defended its actions in the award of contracts for the supply of latex gloves for the nation’s health institutions.

Clean up, move on, or both?
Following the People’s Partnership sweep of the May 24 General Election, we, among others, asked the new government to concentrate on their legislative agenda rather than submit to the temptation to attack the previous government for their “known misdemeanours”. We called upon them to allow the existing legal agencies to investigate what was known – then.

July 21, 2010

Billions Wasted
THE People’s Partnership Government and the country’s economy are reeling from billions of dollars wasted under its People’s National Movement (PNM) predecessor over the last eight years through deals and transactions “with invisible price tags” attached to them.

The Rahael Construction Group of Companies was “well fed” by the People’s National Movement Government and it “amassed over $1 billion” in cost overruns on various projects awarded to it by the State, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said yesterday as he zeroed in on companies associated with the family of PNM campaign manager John Rahael.

Rahael clan amasses $1b in cost overruns
AG Ramlogan in the Senate…

‘Cost overruns in the billions’ under PNM
It was cost overruns galore—running into billions—under the former People’s National Movement government. It is this “rape and plunder” of the Treasury, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says, that has fuelled his passion, which “should not be mistaken for road rage”.

AG: Same gloves but at 50 per cent higher cost
There was squandermania with the purchase of gloves. That, at least, is the allegation of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, who, in his anti-corruption treatise yesterday, told of “collusion” in the purchase of latex gloves. Ramlogan’s declaration was supported by a letter, dated July 14, 2010, in which one supplier, Pharmaco, questioned the decision to award a contract for similar items at a cost of 50 per cent higher.

Glove purchase raises questions
NIPDEC awarded contracts for container-load volumes of gloves to Sun Crest International, paying a higher price than was available in the retail store to the man in the street.

PNM senator: Bring evidence to show corruption
Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi is daring Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to bring the evidence to support his claims of corruption and mismanagement against the former Patrick Manning-led PNM Government.

…Al-Rawi slams AG
OPPOSITION SENATOR Faris Al-Rawi yesterday criticised Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for claiming the country’s economy was reeling under the weight of corruption which allegedly took place under the former PNM government.

July 18, 2010

Ailing hospital
IN recent years one has continually hoped that a line could be drawn under the continuing scandal of the ever-escalating costs of building the new Scarborough Hospital in Tobago. In that vein, we welcome the news coming out of Thursday’s post-Cabinet media conference that Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has been mandated to commission a forensic audit on the troubled project.

‘Somebody will be jailed’
The Government has launched an investigation into the award of a $299.8 million Udecott contract for the construction of six police stations just four days before the May 24 general election.

Mobilisation fee not paid due to election
Udecott chairman Jerlean John, meanwhile, has confirmed that Udecott entered into the contract with Bouygues for the construction of the police stations four days before the May 24 general election. John, speaking with Sunday Guardian yesterday, said the contract award had nothing to do with the impending election.

New Broadgate mess
The People’s Partnership is now saddled with a $109 million debt to be paid by taxpayers—accrued interest on the billion-dollar Broadgate Place.

July 15, 2010

$67M A Year Upkeep
The annual operating cost for the three offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), in a deal with which the current People’s Partnership Government is still considering whether to go ahead, is estimated at $67 million. Some $178 million has also already been “sunk” into the project, over and above the cost of the vessels (which is $1.5 billion).

£6000 per day to keep TT sailors in England
IT IS costing Government £6000 (TT$58,000) per day to keep 66 sailors from the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard in Portsmouth, England, where they have been stationed since last year undergoing training in the use of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).

Rental scandal
ONE million dollars a month! That is the money paid by the former PNM regime in renting the premises at Melville Lane, Port-of-Spain, that houses Costaat, to a landlord whose family is allegedly a prominent backer of the PNM, according to new Minister of Tertiary Education, Fazal Karim, in his contribution to the Senate debate on the state of the economy on Tuesday.

Probe continues into Guanapo church
INVESTIGATIONS into the construction of the controversial Lighhouse of the Lord Jesus Christ church at the Heights of Guanapo in Arima, are ongoing and police are nowhere near to seeking advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard on whether or not criminal charges can be laid.

DPP yet to see Malay documents
DOCUMENTS in the form of birth and marriage certificates obtained from Malaysia from the Attorney General’s department which show clear familial link between former Udecott Chairman Calder Hart’s wife Sherrine Hart and two directors of Sunway Caribbean (Construction) Limited, have not yet reached the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

July 14, 2010

Hart, Sunway Link is True
DOCUMENTS obtained from Malaysia by the Office of the Attorney General, have been formally authenticated, showing a clear familial link between two directors of Sunway Caribbean (Construction) Limited and Sherrine Hart, wife of Udecott’s former executive chairman Calder Hart.

Manning asked to explain Broadgate report
ATTORNEY General Anand Ramlogan is calling on former Prime Minister Patrick Manning and former Public Administration Minister Kennedy Swaratsingh to explain their role and involvement in a US$20 million land deal with Transcorp Credit Union (TCU).

…British QC to probe Broadgate project
Government has secured the services of British QC Alan Newman to advise whether there was fraud in the controversial billion-dollar Broadgate Place project in Port-of-Spain.

‘No more $$ for offshore vessels’
Government does not have any more money to sink into a “black hole” created from the multibillion-dollar contract to acquire three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), says Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Persad-Bissessar…

…Sailors’ training stopped
Sixty-five sailors were six weeks away from being able to command the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Port of Spain, when the training was stopped, pending a Government decision…

July 13, 2010

A boat named Su
WHILE we welcome the call by Minister of Works, Jack Warner, for action to be taken against anyone found to be criminally liable in the $50 million purchase of an old used catamaran fast- ferry that has been dry-docked rather than used as a water-taxi, we fear this case is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg of dubious spending by the former administration.

Project ‘totally above board’
The Board of Directors of the Transcorp Development Company Ltd and Broadgate Place Property Company Ltd have described as “inaccurate and misleading” statements made by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.

‘…never entered into any transaction’
The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) yesterday denied that it has ever been involved in any transaction in any capacity with Transcorp. The university was responding to statements made by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan at a political meeting in St Augustine on Friday night and reported in this week’s Sunday Express.

July 12, 2010

Govt to review $5b contract
GOVERNMENT is considering scrapping the multi-billion dollar contracts awarded for the acquisition of three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and four AW139 helicopter gunships, by the former People’s National Movement (PNM) government.

Hot water for marine security
There’s a term for people who buy the newest technologies, eager to enjoy the benefits and sometimes nightmares of working with new solutions to old problems. Who would have thought that Trinidad and Tobago would have turned out to be an early adopter of marine technology, placing an order with BAE Systems for the design, construction and delivery of three 90 metre Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).

Sorry sound of silence
If the allegations coming thick and fast from the People’s Partnership Government are true, then the previous PNM regime was even more incompetent than citizens suspected. Indeed, incompetence may be the least of the sins of the Patrick Manning regime.

July 11, 2010

Udecott racks up $7.7b debt
The shady and mysterious operations at the Urban Development Corporation of the T&T (Udecott) is in no way close to being unravelled. A Sunday Guardian investigation revealed that the mess continued after the resignation of former executive chairman Calder Hart, and mere weeks before the May 24 general election.

Udecott still owed $96m by Government ministries
A $1 million T&T Electricity Commission (T&TEC) bill paid for the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Centre at St Ann’s was only part of the outstanding $168 million owed by various Government ministries for projects and services at the end of March.

$5B Failure
The former People’s National Movement (PNM) government must take full responsibility for the delay in the delivery of the three multi-billion-dollar offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), which were the first of its kind to be built by BAE Systems at Portsmouth Naval Base, England.

$1 billion ‘scandal’
…AG says Broadgate matter being investigated

…AG: Deal saddles State with $1b debt
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan intends to seek expert advice from Queens Counsel to determine whether there was any wrongdoing in a matter involving former public administration minister Kennedy Swaratsingh where he ignored warnings days before the general election from lawyers in his ministry about a loan which could cost taxpayers up to a $1 billion by default.

Jack: Charges for buying old boat
MINISTER of Works Jack Warner hinted that persons responsible for spending $50 million to buy an old catamaran fast-ferry that has been dry-docked instead of put to use as a water-taxi in Trinidad could face criminal prosecution.

15 thoughts on “Corruption, Mismanagement and Waste”

  1. Time to get some positive action, start jailing all those who were guilty of stealing from the treasury.

  2. If by government owing money on transactions in the works during a transitory period means that it constitutes “business as usual” or by accepting the reality of it means it is “wasteful spending” then I am afraid that we as a trusting public must scrutinize and filter the bombardment of “scandulous” illicit government spending. It is either irresponsible reporting or irresponsible government proclamations on a daily basis that is driving the public to believe that our current government it more prosecutorial in its operative approach than one of planned development. One gets the impression that the roles of the the DPP, Commissioner of Police and judiciary are being usurped by every ministry of this new government. Everyone is out to prosecute and all we know is “what the pnm government did” and NOT what they are planning to do. Very soon there will be no time to do the people’s business.

  3. All deals after the election was called should be deemed illegal. Because when an election is called the government is saying that they are allowing the people to decide on their future. The PNM is famous for making back room deals, no debate, no discussion. They played political “footsee” with T&T money. In fact all the aforemention should be place into law. NO CONTRACTS after an election is called, just extensions of contract until after the election. The reason for this is when an election is called the governing authorities fall under the temptation of signing contracts for friends, family and the local prostitute. Further in this law if it is not adhered to then legal action must be taken.

  4. Excellent suggestion khem, I totally agree. Irrespective of if they have a merits , or are beneficial to us or not, the government is entitled to reneged on every singly treaty ,or contract, that was ever signed or initiated for the past 15 years when your folks were in the political wilderness. What bat cave was this character khem hiding under for the past decades , can any say, and are there many more like him around?
    It is getting to be quite a challenge to still choose to be associated as a Trini ,with these medieval thinkers , ah tell you.

    1. Excellent suggestion khem, I totally agree–Neal. Thanks Neal. I am glad you appreciate my insight.

  5. The Minister in charge of this state corporation, Mary King, admitted to a Guardian reporter that she knew nothing about this state of affairs. The question is, why not? Jarlene John, CEO, is either pretending that she is not fully aware or is covering up. Why is she still in charge?
    The PM should take off her dancing shoes and take her entire Cabinet on a training retreat.The election is over. There should be no more excuses for the frequent public mistakes and utterences being made by Ministers.

  6. The Highest Court . Within the Courts of the earth, all this Rhetoric,Bobol, Corruption and Lying can take place. This is the infested state of the natural human Heart.Deprave.
    There is A High Court In The Heavens where no such Infestation can enter. Hope all these individuals know about this? We are permitted once to LIVE after Death is The Judgment.

  7. This is just what the doctor ordered folks. Welcome Sam to the discussions, as in this case ,perhaps just another Bible touting, religious nut. If memories serves me right,his namesake in King Samuel was the father of David – ‘a man after God’s own heart,’ who orchestrated the murder of a lowly upstart man ,to steal his wife away.
    Can someone tell this comedian, that since our Black Brothers Cain and Abel, jealous , violent , escapades in the African Garden of Eden , near Kilimanjaro, more folks across the globe have died as a result of unprovable, religious ,ideological dogma, than all the plagues , and natural disasters -including the alleged 40 days floods-known to mankind?
    Just kidding Sam, but seriously , is there some rhyme, or reason for all this daily T&T public displays of past expenditures, and parade of our leadership’s missteps , along with precarious financial state of our country?
    Hey folks , yesterday is dead and gone,and no one cares. If you have evidence , then arrest every crook , bandit , or official that dared to suggest some policy , project , or contract, that help mortgage our children’s future into perpetuity .
    Once this is done, then move on to the business of steering this country forward. Some of these issues threaten’s to make the recently concluded snoozer called the World Cup, look like the most exciting event in the world since manner fell from heaven, eh Sam?
    Speaking of which , what a travesty it is indeed , to hold a World Cup in a country where half the population is on under the poverty line, a quarter is dying from Aids ,and a multitude of post Apartheid related , social problems ,yet 6 billion was spent in that spectacle, and no one is the wiser , or cares about Bantu unrepresented folks.
    Good job Uncle Jack , and your FIFA PR team did an excellent job, as usual.Now for the T&T four year political showdown, and please remember to ,band your belly, for tough choices ahead.

  8. Do not try to intimidate me here you ranting Fool-!!!!! looks like you people have this intense Hatred for the Bible. Who you calling Nut, and Comedian, thou sounds like a LOW Life as far as I am concerned.Have you really studied the Bible?
    Get your Priorities right, Samuel was not the Father of King David, Jesse if you please. Just as the entire world was recently caught up in a Game (WORLD CUP), so everybody is playing games in this LIFE.
    When David committed this Crime, look and you would see how this issue were addressed by Nathan. as from God. The garden of Eden were never identified as to where it’s location were.
    Look at the Scripture as to what is the unifying flow of thought that is found there. Then you might be able to understand the teaching that it adheres to. The Bible does not condone Evil, neither does it condone the wrong doings of the individuals spoken about in it as examples for us to follow.All the wrong doings of these individuals were addressed as wrong- they were always a call to repentance, Reform, and to Change their ways etc. To the Right Path.
    Example: the wrong of Cain towards his Brother, Jacob towards his Brother Esau,Even with doubting Abraham and Sarah. So to with King David, Solomon, the various Kings of Judah and Israel.The example of Paul in the New Testament, when he was seen as in the right -persecuting the Church in the First Century A.D.
    OK!! If we should leave the Bible out Of the Question, Don’t you think the Solution to all this Corruption on the Face of the earth would always be address with some Human Theory or Concept. All these Laws these Politicians Has been Trying To Curb the Crime Situation With, Does it Work as of Presently? Get real here you- seems more as THE COMEDIAN HERE….

  9. So the corruption web is being unravelled. Those who supported the PNM were given truck loads of money for their support. Cost overrun seems to be the favorite. Charge $150 million then keep coming back until everything turns into a Toruba like senario, where millions upon millions are doled out without any kind of proper accounting.

    Let us hope that the criminals who wear blue collar shirts would be brought to justice. The PNM and the criminal element was in bed for a long time. I suppose the blue collar thieves were given “community devleoper” status by the previous administration. One thing I have learned from all of this is that it takes intellectual capital to lead a nation something that no longer exist in the PNM or did not exist for some time.

    While Trinis did not get water, good roads or low cost food, the oligarchy salivated, consumed and devoured with great joy the tax payers money….hmmm I wonder what tribalist Linda have to say to about that….

  10. Are you seriously attempting to convince us Khem that all those foreign contracts over the past 15 years , went to only greedy Chinese , Yankees , Canadians, Australians, Europeans,Yankees , and everyone foreign?
    If so, how then did our dedicated ,unmentionable locals-from your neck of the woods- survived, during all that time Uncle Panday was dragging the party down the gutter ,until same was miraculously rescued by Madam Kamla, and her astute Deputy PM , Mr. Jack Warner?
    Well,what can we say Khem,but continue guys to lick your chops, and enjoy the short moment in the sun as it were, for one thing you can be assured as long as we remain a democracy- It is that ‘this too shall pass,’ as that Blacksungod who is in heaven and earth ,never sleeps, my friend. I stand corrected.

    1. Are you seriously attempting to convince us Khem that all those foreign contracts over the past 15 years , went to only greedy Chinese , Yankees , Canadians, Australians, Europeans,Yankees , and everyone foreign?
      I don’t think I mention anything foreign in my blog brother. And all it seems people like you could do is mention Panday name. Panday, Panday, Panday…. It is like a recording in your psychotic mind, so brain-washed are you by PNM propaganda. Under the PNM there has been over $4 billion alone in project extensions (wasted money). It is time you get your brain off the PNM valium and see the world for what it is….Neal…

  11. Can’t help it khem as your bunch’s window of opportunity to equally squander , mismanage ,and loot is ‘mas o menos,’ 3 to 4 years ,before many have to dust off their unemployment resumes my friend- due in great measure because the people that matter , are by then so fed up of empty rhetorics ,and unfulfilled -chiefly foreign-cut and past ,pie in the sky promises .
    Let me for once give credit this time ,to your unmentionable, political dinosaur, who prophetically claimed that voters might be resorting to exchange , as opposed to expected change.
    It is you Khem who is the misguided fool for thinking that the woes of this country can only be linked to Africans , because a few so happened to head a political party referred to as the PNM.
    Yes ,I know , since you were running around as 7 year old Erin bare feet , and short pants kid ,you too were indoctrinated by the typical revisionist, and conniving power mongrels , into believing ,that Errol Mahabir , and Kamaluden Mohammed ,were only token PNM players , that were mainly in place to help keep a particular segment of the population subjugated ,yes?
    Let me explain why you have to get used to hearing Panday’s name forever,you tribal apologist. He was the leader of a political party , whose actions ,or inactions ,allowed the PNM to thrive , unchallenged ,for too long- hence their eventual resort to arrogance , acts of possible political malfeasance,and recent downfall.
    Whenever any serious historians are prepared to analyze as to why – contrary to some opinions-the majority of our Indo,and Afro Trini brothers and sister , are languishing below the poverty line, then they should look no further, as the overwhelming evidence is there to show , where he has deliberately ,and in not too subtle fashions ,contributed to that state.

    Fortunately the people he claime to represent,recognized what more honest folks like Chedi Jr. did , come last January 24th 2010, and the rest we shall say is history.
    Once more , I admonish you as one of the leading party mouthpiece on this board, to ease the feet off the euphoric throttle, as the script is yet to be written with respect to the social and political ongoing play , that transpired two months ago.
    I stand corrected.

    1. It is you Khem who is the misguided fool for thinking that the woes of this country can only be linked to Africans , because a few so happened to head a political party referred to as the PNM.
      Again you come with some tribal garbage as though I have some anti-African ideology. Did I ever mention any tribal names in my blog???? You are the one who invoke Panday’s name at every instance. That is the psychosis that seems to affect tribals, there is that lack of clarity in thinking. The feeling that somehow everyone hate them. It is a wrong way to live life.

  12. In any nation with an equal divide of the politics by races it goes to say, when the nation is governed by either side, for a period of time the particular race in power must take full responsibility for corruption which occured during their period of reign.
    Note that under Mr Manning’s rule almost all heads of ministries within central government and offices of municipal utilities were held by people of African descent
    The few important persons of the Indian race merely played a subsidary role in government with little authority to be involved in the large scale of corruption now coming to light.

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