Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar may not be able to directly shut down the $250 million Bacolet aquatic centre and indoor sport complex and the $143 million THA Administration Complex.
But maybe she can indirectly as head of central government in charge of the country's purse strings.
This is the opinion of Tobago-based attorney Christo Gift, SC, who in a telephone interview on Thursday said this fact is something the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) needed to be mindful of.
"If the THA enters into an agreement that government has advised to which certain things should not be done, then it basically runs the risk of not having the particular venture financed,'' Gift said.
Gift, a former National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) chairman, said when all the facts were revealed, it would seem that Persad-Bissessar was right to act in the way she did, calling for the cessation of the two projects.
"I think the THA would be acting imprudently to enter into a contract and to execute it in light of what the PM has said. The funding comes from central government. If it doesn't come from there I don't see how any institution will lend money without guarantee for it to be paid back, and I don't see how they can take money from projects approved lawfully and divert them to projects the government does not support. I think any THA executive who continues along that course is entering into unchartered waters with some serious risks, including the whole idea of litigation against a politician for reckless spending of State funds,'' he said.
Gift added that the THA should apply prudence to whether it violates the financial rules of (the THA Act) of which it has already run into problems accounting to the auditor General.
"My real problem here is for years under this PNM (THA) administration, they have been doing things that are not consistent with what the law requires and the auditor general's reports prove that. My concern is why hasn't a central government dealt with this issues as it has arisen?'' he asked.
"I don't think any central government has done enough (to address the Auditor General's concerns) and this one, not yet. If there are amendments to the law to make the THA more accountable to the funds received from central government then this government has the required majority to make them,'' he added.
He said he did not know what the government had planned, but so far it seems limited to these two projects. The upcoming THA election, he added, also muddies the matters and has pushed the government into a position where it must act.
"I'm sure the central government is aware it looks like they are fighting down the THA. That's the politics they are concerned about. But if the THA wants to enter into these contracts before elections then you are forcing government's hand. One of the concerns I have with where the THA is going is they want to enter into these mega projects where the funding is tied up for years. What that does is tie the hands of an administration beyond (its term in office).