Jul 31, 2010

$2m flag still haunts Sports Company


The scandal and embarrassment of the $2 million legacy flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and the operations of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago continue.

Sports Minister Anil Roberts, in a highly charged and fiery contribution to Parliament yesterday, said the details of a financial systems audit of the Sports Company revealed a string of irregularities including the leasing of expensive SUVs for the Executive Chairman and Executive Director, the creation of a ghost roof at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the hiring of interns who never applied for work, the duplication of duties and responsbilities at extreme cost to the taxpayer and a host of other "madness" culminating in "abuse of office and downright unfair and corrupt practices" and flagrant breaches of procurement practices. It has led Ministry of Finance Auditors to recommend that the matter be investigated for possible breaches of the law.

On the $2 million flag, Roberts said:
1) the winning bid was one million dollars more than the losing one
2) the confirmation letter (of the award) to the "fortunate" company was given five days before the contract was awarded. ("I am sure Prophetess Pena would be proud of that company. They are so good, they write an acceptance five days before they win..Amazing!," Roberts quipped).

"To add salt to the wound," he said, "the projects administrator of the Sport Company stated that the person who signed the letter of award had no authority to bind the company.

"Mr Speaker, you think the story end there? Of course not," he said. Roberts said the winning bid of $2 million was based on two hundred cubic metres of concrete to be utilised in the foundation. "You know how many cubic metres of concrete they actually utilised, Mr Speaker? Thirty cubic metres- 15 per cent of the estimated amount," he said. He said the company estimated the butt???? size to be 20 by 20 but the butt size turned out to be 10 by 10. The estimate also included driving six piles to a depth of 40 feet each. "Mr Speaker guess what? No piles. Small butt, no piles," he said, to the roar of laughter. He added with some mischief, "So no Preparation H".

Please read the rest of the article at the link above. The corruption that existed in the former PNM administration runs deep and yet still there are people out there defending them. What needs to be done is to stop all the "ole talk" and take these people to court to account for their mismanagement of the nations resources. If found guilty efforts should be made to retrieve monies that were diverted into private accounts or if that cannot be done some of these people should be jailed.

That in my view is the only way to stop the defense of these people who can't accept the facts as presented. They behave as if all of these articles in the newspapers are nothing but political 'ole talk' and scandalous in nature. Jail some of these people and then they may begin to sing a different 'chune".

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