The remaining members of the Board of Directors must immediately follow Chairman Arnold Piggott and resign from Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL).
Mr Piggott’s resignation has come in the wake of serious allegations of corruption, bid rigging, abuse of office, squander and worker victimisation at the special purpose taxpayer-owned Company, which have been published with accompanying relevant documentary evidence in ongoing newspaper reports.
Details of these serious allegations include the fixing of million-dollar contracts to favour cronies of the PNM; disbarring certain previous contractors, re-opening closed tenders, misuse of funds, awarding a deal in excess of $50 million to a contractor who scored the lowest in the evaluation process and overall abuse of the public’s trust.
The Directors therefore have no moral authority to continue to cling onto public office in the face of these extensive and shocking revelations which, if substantiated by the audit that is currently being undertaken by the Ministry of Finance and Attorney General, point to misconduct, illegal activities and gross misbehaviour in public life.
As such, to preserve the integrity of the aforementioned Government-commissioned investigations, as well as the ongoing viability of the EFCL, the directors must immediately step down or be summarily fired.
This is the only course of action which would facilitate a free and transparent audit by the Ministry of Finance.
The Attorney General and Minister of Finance must also forward the findings of the audit to the Fraud Squad Division of the Police to ensure that an independent enquiry into the reports of sustained corrupt activities at the State Enterprise is undertaken.
Education Minister Anthony Garcia and Junior Minister Dr. Lovell Francis, to whom the EFCL Board of Directors reports, must also be held responsible for the repeated acts of financial and administrative wrongdoing under their watch.
As the public officers with ministerial responsibility for EFCL, the buck stops with Mr. Garcia and Dr. Francis.
Failure to take firm and effective action would render the current PNM administration guilty of continuing to sanction corruption and blatant abuse of public office at EFCL.