Thursday, November 1, 2012

Howai Has to Wait.

Chief Secretary, Orville London

Chief Secretary, Orville London yesterday indicated that Finance Minister Larry Howai has to wait a little longer than the seven days for documents on the $143M MILSHIRV office complex at Shirvan, in southwest Tobago.

Howai wrote the THA Chief Secretary last week requesting that all documents relating to the office complex being built for the Assembly under a BOLT (Build Own Lease Transfer) arrangement be made available to him by seven (7) days. 

In a media conference yesterday, London indicated that under the laws and the T&T Constitution the Finance Minister has no authority to instruct him to provide information to him within any timeframe.

However, London indicated that in the interest of public disclosure and due to the considerable discussion that surrounded the transaction he has a responsibility to make the information available to the Minister as well as the general public.

London further indicated that he has would send a letter to Minister Howai on Thursday (1st November 2012) explaining that the various documents are being vetted by Senior Council and the THA Senior State Council following which the information will be made available to the public and to him.

London also disclosed at the weekly Post Executive Council media briefing on Wednesday (31st October 2012) that the Integrity Commission had written him requesting that the documents on the MILSHIRV office complex be produced within seven days.

The Tobago Chief Secretary said the Integrity Commission has the legal authority to so instruct and therefore that information will be made available to it within the seven days. He added that more or less the same information that was going to be made available in the public domain will be made available to the commission for it to continue its investigation.

London said he wanted to make it very clear that the decision not to submit the documents within seven days to Howai was by no means meant to prevent the information from being made public; "Quite the contrary, we want to ensure that at the same time the Minister has the information, the public has the information," London added.

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