Three multi-million contracts awarded by the National Maintenance Training and Security Company (MTS) has come under legal scrutiny by Opposition Senator Faris al-Rawi.
In a brief telephone interview yesterday, al-Rawi confirmed he was acting on behalf of a "private client" who is seeking to legally question the award of three $20 million contracts to three companies to desilt the Caroni, St Ann's and Maraval rivers.
The contracts were awarded under then works minister, now National Security Minister Jack Warner.
When asked about the issue, Warner said al-Rawi should know better.
"When would the public tell the Rowleys and the al-Rawis of this world that they are failing?" he asked.
He said the People's National Movement (PNM) has "milked the country of billions of dollars" and "invented several Calder Harts, both inside and outside the country," yet still spoke "a set of foolishness".
"It is painful because they should know better. But I keep saying let them talk and they will bury themselves," he said.
He said selective tendering was nothing new in the country and through transparent selective tendering three of the lowest bidding companies were chosen to desilt the three rivers.
"We have a list of pre-qualified contractors and they all made a tour of the rivers and those who were selected also have the best equipment for the job," he said.
Warner said he was not prepared to entertain al-Rawi's legal investigations.
"At the end of the day what is different between me and them is that I am transparent," he said.
"Nobody in two years, having spent almost one billion dollars, could point their finger at me or anyone in my ministry," he said.
Warner said contrary to what his critics think, he thrived on the animosity directed to him by the Opposition
In addition, MTS has issued a letter to al-Rawi defending Warner's position in the contract award.
In the letter dated July 9 and signed by corporate secretary Adilah Elahie, the company said it "complied with" proper tender policy in the award of those three contracts.
"In accordance with our tender policy, MTS entered into a process of selective tendering, using the first of three names from the list provided by the ministry."
MTS said those three contractors were then invited to submit proposals for the desilting of the three rivers.