The Office of the Chief Secretary would like to clarify the issues surrounding the new vehicle assigned to the Chief Secretary.
The vehicle, a BMW Li740, was purchased at a cost of $777,817.33 to replace the previous vehicle, which is more than six years old, having been acquired in 2012.
The Tobago House of Assembly made the decision to replace the Chief Secretary’s official vehicle after considering its age, continued maintenance issues, and the security requirements for the Chief Secretary.
This is in keeping with Section 16 of the THA Act 40 of 1996, which states:
16. (1) The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of the Chief Secretary shall be equal to that of a Minister, except that the State shall provide the Chief Secretary with the following: (a) an official residence in lieu of a housing allowance; (b) an official car in lieu of a travelling allowance; (c) appropriate security services.
Chief Administrator Raye Sandy stressed that replacing the vehicle was an administrative decision.
“We considered the age of the previous [Chief Secretary’s] vehicle, and the maintenance needs of a vehicle of that age,” Sandy said.
“A number of options were considered by the Tobago House of Assembly, and a selection was made after seeking advice on the security requirements for the Chief Secretary and other pertinent issues. I must also highlight the distinction between the vehicles for official use by the Chief Secretary, and the vehicles that serve The Office of the Chief Secretary.”
In keeping with those security requirements, two vehicles are assigned to the Chief Secretary. The vehicle that has been replaced has since been added to the Office of the Chief Secretary’s fleet of vehicles.