Since my email to the Honorable Prime Minister may have been intercepted and leaked to the media there has been a barrage of questions surrounding the issue. I will now offer one definitive and final statement on the matter which hopefully will address all questions.
The Prime Minister has led the Cabinet with a firm insistence on integrity and the need to inform her of any uncertainties we might ever have in the course of our duties. I felt duty bound therefore to raise the concerns I had at the time. As expected, the Prime Minister received my correspondence in good faith and gave due consideration to the matters raised.
Subsequent to the writing of that email I have had the benefit of being advised on the legal parameters within which the award considerations can be made and what evaluations were being conducted on the particular project. At the time, I felt my own concerns were best addressed directly to the Prime Minister since I wanted an independent opinion on the matter.
Having had the benefit of advice on such legal parameters within which this process can be conducted towards achieving a delivery of the project within the budget, I am satisfied that there was no compromise on the manner in which this was achieved. I maintain my independence of opinion and right to raise any matter of concern to me as a Minister with the leader of the government.
My Cabinet colleague understands that my first duty is to the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago and not an individual as we are rightly held to a higher standard than ever before.
It is to his credit that we continue to share a deep and abiding respect for process beyond any other consideration.
I am proud to be a member of government that is led by a Prime Minister who cherishes such openness with her and with whom one can always be confident makes courageous decisions in the interest of the country she serves. I am also grateful for her encouragement to continue being so fiercely independent of mind and watchful over the process and to have afforded the matter such fair and objective consideration.