IN THE CROWD: Political leader Keith Rowley, centre, waves to supporters on his arrival at the People's National Movement (PNM) public meeting in Cocoyea, San Fernando on Tuesday night.
—Photo: DAVE PERSAD
Rowley: Govt awarding contracts to 'friends'
It is time permanent secretaries start doing their jobs and stand up to Government ministers, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said on Tuesday night.
He said the Government remains unchecked since permanent secretaries were afraid to oppose ministers.
Speaking at a People's National Movement (PNM) public meeting at Cocoyea Village, San Fernando, Rowley said, "A lot of what is happening here ought not and should not have happened if permanent secretaries do their jobs and stand up to the Government.
"But what you have in Trinidad and Tobago is administrative terrorism, where the executive terrorise permanent secretaries and many permanent secretaries are afraid to tell ministers where to get off. So the Government in Trinidad and Tobago is now completely unchecked," he said.
Rowley said permanent secretaries were not strong and resilient enough to confront ministers when they do wrong. "These ministers are changing their terms to suit themselves and their permanent secretaries are allowing them to do it," he said.
Rowley said permanent secretaries were allowing contracts to be awarded to friends of "people in high places". He also accused Government of handing over million-dollar contracts without any bidding.
"So $70m in drainage contracts were handed out without any respect for the tendering process," he said.