Tuesday, January 23, 2018

‘No role in award to Sacha Singh’

NP board defends contract

The board of State-owned National Petroleum (NP) said it did not have a hand in the award of a $60,000 contract to Sacha Singh, the ex-girlfriend of former tourism minister Chandresh Sharma.

Singh, a businesswoman who owns three companies, reported Sharma to the police over an alleged altercation in the car park of Grand Bazaar, which led to his resignation as a minister.

The glass-cleaning contact was raised in Parliament by St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh, during debate on the Finance Bill on April 4. Deyalsingh had questioned whether Singh had benefited from State contracts through her relationship with Sharma.

In a press statement issued on Friday, NP said Deyalsingh’s comments were “adverse…”; and maintained that the company has “always acted within the ethical boundaries of propriety and probity. The company utterly refutes allegations of corruption made by MP Deyalsingh.…”

“In the matter of the contract for cleaning windows, the board of NP was not involved. The supplier was selected by the then CEO and the contract was awarded in accordance with NP’s Tender Procedure Guidelines for Works and Services under the CEO’s limit. The award of all contracts of the value of $100,000 or below falls under executive management purview only and not under the NP board of directors,” it stated.

NP’s former chief executive Kenneth Mohammed was dismissed.

NP observed that Deyalsingh’s claim that “corruption allegations have not ended with an alleged attempt to award a contract to a particular trucking company…”; ignored the fact that the company was cleared by the Integrity Commission.

“During its entire 42-year-old history, NP has provided the best possible goods and services to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and will continue to do so using the most ethical of business practices in achieving its objectives and increasing its contribution to our national development,” it said.