|$2B FOR SIS |
By SEAN DOUGLAS Saturday, July 5 2014
CHAGUANAS West MP Jack Warner alleged that Super Industrial Services Ltd (SIS), a firm reputed to be financiers of the ruling People’s Partnership (PP), has received public-works contracts totalling $2 billion.
He was speaking in yesterday’s Lower House debate on the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Bill 2014, passed last month by the Senate. Warner asked aloud why the Government was now bringing a procurement reform bill after four years in office and with one foot out of Parliament ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Saying the PP was supposed to have corrected the excesses of the former PNM government, he said the country had simply exchanged “Tweedledee for Tweedledum”. Alluding to his own role as a former PP financier he said, “What have I done? What have I done?”
Warner named several SIS honchoes whom he alleged are also directors of several State companies/agencies that awarded hefty contracts to SIS and its alleged subsidiary companies.
“How in four years, a company that in 2012 was virtually bankrupt, in less than four years could get $2 billion in Government contracts?” Warner queried.
He said SIS has 52 subsidiaries and read details of the jobs and cost of the projects awarded to each, alleging, “from box-drain to the Beetham Plant, they want it all”.
He said WASA awarded SIS a $1.6 million contract to install 59 hydrological stations.
Community Improvement Services Ltd (CISL), a special purpose company under the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, had awarded SIS a $12 million contract for design-build services for the Centre for Persons with Disabilities.
He said CISL, is chaired by one Joe Ramkissoon, who, he alleged, works for SIS.
The design/supply/installation of pre-engineering buildings at Febeau Primary School, at a cost of $15 million, was given to SIS by the Educational Facilities Company Limited (EFCL).
A similar service worth $1.5 million for the New Grant Primary School was awarded by the EFCL to Phoenix Welding and Fabrication Limited (PWFL), which he said is an SIS subsidiary.
A $3.5 million contract for design/build services for potable water at Sangre Grande Hospital was awarded to SIS by the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA).
SIS got a $202 million contract from the National Insurance Property Development Co (Nipdec) for works for the Motor Vehicle Authority.
The EFCL gave a $1.7 million contract to SIS for works on Malick Secondary School. WASA gave SIS a $6.8 million contract for Lange Park Waste Water Plant. The Sports Company of TT (SPORTT) gave PWFL a $100,000 contract for an upgrade of Irvine Park Recreation Ground.
SPORTT gave a $130 million contract to a SIS subsidiary, Point Lisas Construction Limited (PLCL), to upgrade the Penal Recreation Ground.
When St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh shouted “Wow!”, Warner said, “I’m only halfway through.”
He alleged WASA had awarded SIS an $8.4 million contract for the Arima Wastewater Plant and that the National Gas Company (NGC) gave PLCL a contract for landscaping for the Couva- Preysal Interchange costing $25 million. The NGC also gave a $9.5 million contract to SIS subsidiary, Phoenix Project Management and Design Ltd (PPMDL), for the Lower Cumuto Recreation Ground.
PPMDL also got a $5.4 million job from NGC to “cut grass” at a recreation ground. “NGC you know...Grounds! $5.4 million. To do what? To cut grass!” he exclaimed.
PPMDL got a $3.2 million contract from NGC for the Gasparillo Park Recreation Grounds. A $5 million contract for some “Corporate Campus” was given to PPMDL by NGC the latter which, he quipped, was like a ministry.
SIS firm, Midway Construction Limited, got a $5 million contract from Nipdec for work on California Youth Facility.
“Don’t mind they call you, ‘the three percent’ political leader, you can’t be part of this,” he said cryptically to St Augustine MP, Prakash Ramadhar, recently reelected to lead the Congress of the People, a member of the PP administration.
Midway also got a $2 million Nipdec contract for the Los Bajos Beach Facility.
“The Beetham Wastewater Treatment Plant, which I was dying to talk about on the private motion that day, that was given to them for $1.2 billion,” Warner said referring to a motion filed earlier this year by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Some MPs let out whoops of amazement.
“Kanhai Presbyterian Primary School was given to PWFL by the EFCL again, $24 million.
The list goes on and on and on. I have more here. But I don’t have the time. Two billion dollars, and I’m not finished because I called only 14 companies (but) SIS has 52 companies,” Warner said.
Accusing SIS of wanting to do all public-works projects, he asked aloud where is the procurement regime in all this? “Nobody is fooled.”
Warner claimed to possess dubious invoices for public-works done in Tobago during the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election. “All the invoices here, one employee refused to sign them. A junior clerk signed these invoices, and he was paid for them $2 million. Look it here!”
He said he has no time to take the alleged invoices to the Integrity Commission but would instead publicise them in his newspaper.
“I have copies on invoices made to contractors by the Tenders Board in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure where the Minister voided the contractor and gave somebody else. I have copies of that, and I’ll publish it.”
Saying the bill bans a State board director using his post to favour any contractor,
Warner alleged that persons hold posts in both SIS firms and State firms.
He said the CEO/President of PPMDL is a board member on NGC and the National Energy Company (NEC).
“He used to be a board member at PTSC. When SIS got the contract to bring 10 buses, he then moved from that (PTSC) board and went to NEC and NGC.
His name is Gordon SP Ramcharitar, he works for SIS. I have his call card here.” Warner said one Goolath Maharaj is a board member of a State agency which gave contracts to SIS.
“These board members who are tainted, sometimes they are told even before their appointment what board they are going on,” he alleged.
SIS has previously publicly denied any wrongdoing in its contracts which it tender for. During Warner’s allegations, no member of Government made a bid to respond to him.
The purchasing/projecting, design and installation of 59 hydrological stations to upgrade WRE’s Hydrological Network