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Gopaul and Co gets biggest garbage collection contract

By Ria Taitt Political Editor

Gopaul and Company Ltd benefitted the most with $21.1 million from the $99.7 million spent on garbage collection services in the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation during the period June 2010 to August 2013.

This was revealed in the figures given by Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray yesterday in response to a question filed by MP for Arouca/Maloney, Alicia Hospedales in the House of Representatives.

The contractors included Sat Sais Company Ltd which received $12.7 million in contracts, St Helena Enterprises—$12 million; Amalgamated Sanitation- $10 million. 

The minister listed approximately 16 companies which were awarded contracts but most of the other companies received contracts valued at between $500,000 and a little over $1 million. 

The other companies included BK Holdings Ltd, Bartholomew Transport Company Ltd, Bridgecon Ltd, D&S Harrichan, Waste Disposal, Critical Engineering Solutions, Flexible Enterprises Ltd, Ninel Transport and Sewer Services Ltd, Raj Persad Transport Company Ltd, Sahadeo Magram Contractors Ltd, M&N Enterprises and General Transport Company and NEDCOM Ltd.

National attention first fell on Gopaul and Company when the issue of the Prime Minister’s friendship with its directors, Ralph and Maureen Gopaul, came under scrutiny. 

This occurred when controversy arose over a $40 million contract which NP had decided to award to Gopaul and Company. The bidding process for that contract was eventually quashed. 

Following a complaint from Fitzgerald Hinds, the Integrity Commission cleared the Prime Minister of any impropriety in staying at the Gopauls residence in the lead up to the May 2010 general election.

In answer to another question, Coudray revealed that the State paid $6.1 million in rent for councillors and local government representatives between the last (local government) term of office—June 2010 to September 2013. 

The amount approved and disbursed to local government representatives for each of the rental spaces was $2,500 a month. 

Representatives for the Tunapuna/Piarco district received the highest amount ($725,000), followed by Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo councillors ($675,625), then Diego Martin ($597,500) and Mayaro/Rio Claro ($525,000). 

Representatives in Princes Town got $490,000 followed by San Fernando ($456,290), Siparia ($453,700) and Port or Spain ($452,333.34).

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