Probe THA, Milsherv deals
By NALINEE SEELAL Wednesday, October 31 2012
click on pic to zoom in
ATTORNEY GENERAL ANAND RAMLOGAN...
ATTORNEY GENERAL Anand Ramlogan has referred a deal between the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and Milsherv Properties Limited — for construction of an Administrative Complex at the corner of Milford and Shirvan Road, Tobago — to the Integrity Commission and the acting Commissioner of Police (CoP).
In a four-page letter, dated October 24, the AG asked both the Integrity Commission and Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to probe the contract and ascertain if any charge of misbehaviour in public office and/or fraud could be brought against persons.
The letter stated that the AG in accordance with provisions of Section 32 of The Integrity in Public Life Act Chap. 22:01, filed a complaint to the Integrity Commission against Orville London, Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and Anslem London, Secretary with responsibility for Finance and or such other Members of the THA in relation to the following:
The circumstances leading up to and the arrangements contained in or embodied in a project for the Build, Own, Lease and Transfer (BOLT) contract awarded to Milsherv Properties Limited to construct an Administrative Complex at the corner of Milford and Shirvan Road , Tobago and for which the THA borrowed substantial sums of monies from a commercial bank to finance the said project, which said monies must be repaid from public funds.
According to the letter the particulars of the complaint states:
“Pursuant to Section 2 of The Integrity in Public Life Act, Orville London and Anslem London as Members of the Tobago House of Assembly, are persons in public life and expressly encapsulated in the Schedule thereto. The Chief Secretary and the Secretary with responsibility for finance are therefore persons whose conduct is subject to Part IV of the Act, which prescribes a Code of Conduct for persons in public life.
“Under Section 51 of The Tobago House of Assembly Act, the Secretary may borrow sums of money by way of term loans for the purposes of capital investment, but must do so only with the approval of the Minister. Under Section 38 of the said Act, this refers to the Minister of Finance. “The Secretary referred to therein is the one to whom responsibility for finance is assigned. The Secretary for Finance and/or the Chief Secretary and or the political administration of the THA did not seek or obtain the requisite approval of the Minister of Finance of the Central Government before embarking upon the decision to procure loan financing from a commercial bank for the execution of this project.”
Additionally, the letter stated that the project was commissioned without a public tender being issued. The letter from the AG also pointed out that the firm of Amera Caribbean Developers Limited was given preferential treatment by the THA to execute the project, and also that no attempt appears to have been made by the THA to determine whether there were any other firms or entities with the necessary capacity and skills to have executed the project at a lower cost, and to provide greater value for money in the interests of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
The AG also provided a bundle of documents for the Integrity Commission and the Commissioner of Police to assist in the investigations. The bundle of documents includes, inter alia, registered deeds, and the relevant Incorporation documents of the parties involved.