Saturday, September 23, 2017

Rowley: All wasn't well with Ocean Flower procurement


Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley admitted on Monday that something went drastically wrong and was crooked in the procurement of the passenger ferry the Ocean Flower 2.

Rowley was responding to questions by the media following meeting in Tobago with the main stakeholders directly affected by the unsuccessful attempt to find a replacement passenger ferry to service the sea-bridge between Trinidad and Tobago.

“Yes!” Rowley said emphatically.

“My yes means a lot to me,” he added.

Sole investigator Christian Mouttet was appointed last week to look into the “circumstances surrounding the procurement of the Cabo Star and the Ocean Flower 2, and the entering into the charter party agreement for these vessels”.

Asked whether Mouttet’s report would be made public, Rowley said he had not doubt that it would be.

He said he saw no conflict of interest in Cabinet appointing an investigator to probe a decision made by Cabinet.

Told that some Tobagonians felt that the meeting was a waste of time, Rowley said:

“I could only speak for myself and to those who spoke in this room that they had a very valuable experience because a lot of issues were raised. A lot of issues not relating to the ferry service were raised in this room this afternoon. And those issues many of them do not have today’s answer for today,” he said.

Rowley went on to describe Monday’s meeting as a “very productive meeting”.