The Chairman of the United National Congress has invoked the Freedom of Information Act in pursuit of full public disclosure of the Sir Anthony Colman Commission of Enquiry Report into the collapse of CL Financial Group of Companies.
MP David Lee said it is of utmost importance to the nation that disclosure be made of the Colman Report so that there can be full understanding as to what led to this catastrophic collapse of the CL Financial Group of Companies.
In a release Monday the UNC Chairman and Pointe-a-Pierre MP, David Lee stated that Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, formally wrote to the Prime Minister and Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister informing them of his request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act for full disclosure of the Colman Report. Persad-Bissessar wrote:
“I act on behalf of Mr. David Lee Member of Parliament for the constituency of Point-a-Pierre and the Chairman of the United National Congress,” the letter from Persad-Bissessar stated as it outlined the background to the Colman Commission of Enquiry, and stated that taxpayers who footed the cost of the enquiry are entitled to access the full report and its findings.
“On the 1st July 2016 the Honourable Prime Minister informed Parliament that the total costs to the taxpayers of this country for the Commission of Enquiry was $78,488,943.30 and this figure may increase as all of the expenses of the Commission had not yet been totaled.”
“In addition to the costs of the Commission, the taxpayers of this country also funded the costs of a number of the parties to the Commission such as the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and The Ministry of Finance. In addition to the costs identified herein the taxpayers have also had to expend millions of dollars in litigation costs arising out of the collapse of the CL Financial group of companies.”
Reminding the Prime Minister of his commitment that “the government will operate in an open, transparent and accountable manner”, Persad-Bissessar stated that some of the constituents of her client questioned whether the Government’s withholding of the report was politically motivated.
“Some of my client’s constituents are concerned that the failure of the Government to make public the report and the findings of Sir Anthony Colman is politically motivated as a number of persons who are known supporters of the Peoples National Movement held key positions in the CL Financial Group of companies.”
Attached is a copy of the FOIA Request of MP Davis Lee and, accompanying letter from Kamla Persad-Bissessar addressed to the Honourable Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley and, the Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister.