Dr Roodal Moonilal has requested the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) to change its choice of contractor on the Penal Hospital from SNC-Lavalin, but that does not mean it is going to happen.
The Express has been informed that despite Moonilal’s request, the CCC has already completed its due diligence report on the capabilities on SNC-Lavalin to carry out works on the Penal Hospital, and its findings have been positive. The due diligence also covers the $2.2 million (Can$376,712) design contract that has already been awarded.
SNC-Lavalin is, therefore, the CCC’s preferred choice and has met all the specifications for corporate governance and ethics, so the Corporation is not going to change that.
The CCC is a Canadian government agency that facilitates Canadian private sector companies that wish to participate in government to government arrangements. It selects which companies are to be used to perform specific projects.
On Monday, Moonilal, chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCoTT) Jearlean John and other company officials, met with Canadian High Commissioner Gerard Latulippe, CCC official Mariette Fyfe-Fortin, and High Commission representative Christa Robinson to discuss SNC-Lavalin’s track record and challenges with the World Bank. UDeCoTT is the local company that will facilitate the intergovernmental arrangement.
Moonilal had told the Express that he halted the existing negotiations, including the ongoing design contract.
The CCC, the Express was told, did tell Moonilal that it will not be possible to change contractors.
If the Government chooses not to go with SNC-Lavalin, then the next option will be to terminate the contracts and further negotiations through the government to government arrangement.
Should the relationship be ended, the T&T Government will have to pay SNC-Lavalin for the work they have already done on the design contract.
The Express obtained a copy of the CCC’s due diligence report, which had been presented to Moonilal and UDeCoTT at the meeting.
Since 2011, CCC and SNC-Lavalin have been working with UDeCoTT to develop and build the project. In April 2013, after several allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in several foreign operations in places like Algeria, Bangladesh, Libya and at home in Canada, SNC-Lavalin was slapped with a ten-year ban from the World Bank preventing them from bidding on any project funded by the Bank. In May 2013, the CCC began their review on SNC-Lavalin’s approach to ethics and ethical business practices.
The CCC’s Enhanced Managerial Review (EMR) of SNC set out to determine if SNC has implemented sufficient corporate-wide changes to its governance framework to prevent unethical business practices from occurring, which would impact the CCC’s support of the Penal Hospital, the report said.
The EMR methodology included a review of international guidelines and best practices, including Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational enterprises; Transparency International’s Global Integrity Pact; and the World Bank Integrity Compliance Guidelines.
According to the report’s findings:
1. SNC-Lavalin has taken extensive steps to prevent further illegal or unethical business practices, in line with the international guidelines and best practices in the prevention of bribery and corruption.
2. SNC-Lavalin has made corporate-wide changes to its governance, management and integrity compliance programmes.
3. The company’s new integrity and compliance programme has been designed, and its implementation is overseen, by experiences ethics compliance personnel, and is consistent with global best practices for anti-corruption risk.
4. The review did not surface any unethical or illegal business practices from SNC-Lavalin’s involvement in the Penal Hospital project for Phase I or Phase II.
The report concluded that:
1. SNC-Lavalin has taken extensive steps to prevent further illegal or unethical business practices, in line with international guidelines and best practices in the prevention of bribery and corruption.
2. There is no evidence of any unethical business practices on the part of SNC-Lavalin in the development portion of this project.
3. There is a high degree of confidence that SNC-Lavalin’s internal controls will ensure that the Penal Hospital construction will be well managed and delivered with respect to ethical business practices and that with the risk mitigation measures in place, the reputation of the Corporation will be protected.
“With the positive conclusion of the EMR, CCC is pleased to now be in a position to move this project to the next stage and provide you with our assurance that SNC-Lavalin has demonstrated to the CCC their commitment to professional and highly ethical business practices,” the report ended.