Finance Minister writes Chief Secretary

Tobago House of Assembly.
Finance Minister Larry Howai has written THA Chief Secretary Orville requesting information on the now controversial BOLT (Build Own Lease Transfer) arrangement for the $143M office complex in southwest Tobago.

Howai by letter faxed to the Office of the Chief Secretary yesterday (Tuesday 23rd October 2012) specifically asked for: “1) Details of the funding accessed by the THA for the payment of the purchase for the price of the land for $12M; and 2) Details of and all documents relating to the proposed construction of the office complex and its financing including without limitations details of and documents pertaining to any BOLT arrangement the THA has entered or proposed to enter in respect to/ same.

“Please be good enough to provide same thereof within seven days hereof as this matter has been the subject of much public disquiet and discussion and my Ministry has no knowledge of same,” Howai said.

London read the contents of the letter which he received minutes before a planned media conference at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex, Scarborough to once again reveal details of the BOLT arrangement to the Tobago media.

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan told the Senate last week that he was going to ask Howai to request the information from London.

The Tobago Chief Secretary told reporters that in other words this was a Minister of Finance in a Government whose Attorney General stood up in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago and castigated this (THA) administration, threatened the DPP and the Commissioner of Police and the Integrity Commission based on information that his ministry had not received.

“I am saying that that is not the way things should be done in a civilised society. You cannot as somebody whose job is all about justice and fair play come to a conclusion, cast aspersions on the integrity and character of public officials and then now you asking for information to support that conclusion, that to me does not make sense, it is unfair and this is not how things are done in a civilised country,” London said.

London said he wanted to make it very clear that his administration had no problem in making the information available to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago but based on what had transpired over the past two months when government members and their colleagues in Tobago placing into the public domain pieces of misinformation calculated to achieve a particular objective “I can say we do not trust the government”

He added that because the Assembly do not trust the government and trust the public of Trinidad and Tobago, that in addition to making the information available to the government agencies it will make the information available to all the people of Tobago and let the people judge.

“Let the people decide because the government has already indicated that what its agenda is, what its objective is, its objective is to attempt to manipulate the information and create an environment, create a situation where people will have a particular kind of perception, we are saying that we are going to pre-empt that by making all the information available,” he said.

He said the TOP and its colleagues in Trinidad had nothing to stand on in this issue and were providing misinformation because the THA elections were due in three months.

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