The public has a role in stamping out corruption to ensure Tobago gets value for money.
That was Chief Secretary Orville London’s message to Tobagonians on Thursday (June 23), as he responded to the 2017 budget presentation of Finance and Enterprise Development Secretary Assemblyman Joel Jack two days earlier (June 21).
“People have to recognise that if they do the wrong thing there is a price to be paid,” London said. “It is not just about Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries, it is not just about Administrators and Directors, it is about all of us.”
The Chief Secretary called for the THA and Tobagonians in general to adopt a no-nonsense, no-forgiveness approach to corruption and corrupt people”.
People have to recognise that if they do the wrong thing there is a price to be paid, London said.
“I am very concerned Madam Presiding Officer that too many of us if we have a choice between condoning corruption and making an enemy we condone corruption,” London added. “I am saying that should be the easiest decision to make, and therefore we have to become introspective.
“How many of us in our doings in normal everyday life know wrong things have happened, recognise that it has happened and do nothing to prevent it and do nothing to ensure that those who are guilty of corruption get their just reward?” he asked.
London said the Assembly is now even more committed with the mantra “Value for Money” and commended the Chief Administrator Raye Sandy and the staff of his office making the THA’s procurement systems more robust.
The Chief Secretary advised that no matter what system is put in place, it will only be as effective as the approach of those who operate it .
“I am appealing to all Tobagonians for us to understand that although in the final analysis we the leaders, we the decision makers must take the responsibility, we cannot make the system work,” London said.
“It is the people who are in the process who have to make the system work by believing in the process and being able to take the hard decisions in some cases but at least by doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do.”