The Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly will not be bullied by the Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan who continues to use his office to try to intimidate the THA and to persecute the Chief Secretary.
The Attorney General’s unwarranted attack on the THA and his suggestion that he will take the Chief Secretary to court if the Chief Secretary does not in one week produce the documents surrounding the Administrative Complex for the Division of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment to the Minister of Finance is not just flawed in law but another example of the Attorney General using his office to try and intimidate the Assembly and the Chief Secretary.
The Attorney General’s latest attack comes a mere three days after the Minister of Finance, who sits in the same Cabinet as the Attorney General, wrote to the THA in which he accepted that putting together the documents will take some time and that there was a need for completeness.
The Minister of Finance wrote to the Chief Secretary saying: “I appreciate the need to ensure that the Assembly acts appropriately and with some degree of completeness with respect to its response in this matter and I look forward to receiving the information as soon as it becomes available.”
The Chief Secretary wishes to state categorically that at no time has the Assembly delayed in handing over documents relating to the Administrative Complex for the Division of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment to Minister of Finance Larry Howai.
While the Minister of Finance is in no position in law to demand that the documents are handed over, the Chief Secretary and the THA feel that due to the public debate on the matter it will be necessary to make the document available to the public and by extension to the Minister of Finance.
The Chief Secretary assures the people of Tobago and the people of Trinidad and Tobago that as soon as the documents are ready they will be provided to the public so the people of Tobago and Trinidad will see for themselves the details of the project and the Minister of Finance will also be provided with the documents.
It will be irresponsible of the Chief Secretary and the Assembly if they were to produce an incomplete dossier for the Minister of Finance and the general public as a result of undue haste. The reality is that the project took three years to be negotiated. Therefore there are many documents that are pertinent to the transaction that would have been prepared and exchanged which have to be identified and made available.
In that context the public officers in the Assembly are working with diligence to prepare all the documents for the Minister and Finance and the public and no amount of bullying or innuendo by the Attorney General will change this fact.