Imbert tackles SNC in House today
The spotlight will be on two controversial Government decisions in the House of Representatives when it meets today at 1.30 p.m.
Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert will pilot his private motion on the issue of SNC-Lavalin, the contractor of the $1 billion Penal hospital.
Imbert’s motion urges the Government to terminate all existing contracts with SNC-Lavalin for the hospital and to “cease and desist from entering into any future contractual relationship with SNC-Lavalin or any of its affiliates”.
Imbert is further calling for the procurement process for this hospital and all such future projects in Trinidad and Tobago be subject to open and transparent competitive tendering. The motion noted that SNC Lavalin was presently embroiled in allegations and findings of irregular payments to public officials, misconduct, corruption and bribery in projects in a number of developing countries.
There are also questions filed by Opposition Leader relating to Government’s decision to purchase lands for housing at Eden Gardens. Rowley is asking the Minister of Housing, Dr Roodal Moonilal, to state who were the owners of the property prior to its acquisition by the Housing Development Corporation. Rowley also wants to know on what date the property was offered to the HDC; what was the date on which the first valuation was obtained by the HDC and at what figure and how much of the purchase price of $175 million been paid.
He also is asking to whom this money was paid, what was the recommended valuation of Linden Scott and Associates for the purchase of the property and what was the source of the funding which facilitated payment to the previous owners.
The issue of Eden Gardens has been raised by the Opposition repeatedly. Oppositon Senator Faris Al-Rawi who first raised the issue stated that the land was originally purchased for $5 million by its previous owner and was sold to the HDC for $175 million. The sale came after the land was valued by private valuator, Linden and Scott at $52 million and the Government valuator at $180 million.
Rowley is also asking the Minister of Finance several questions on Caribbean Airlines. The questions relate to the purchase of “wide-bodied” aircraft to re-establish a London route.
Rowley wants to know the age of the aircraft, from whom they were purchased, whether any agent was involvement in the procurement and how much they were paid.
The Opposition Leader is also asking for the total cost associated with the purchase of the aircraft as well as the total cost incurred in relation to “wet-leasing” of aircraft for operation of the London route to date. He also wants to know when did Cabinet authorise the expansion of CAL on to the London route.