The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) says a decision to pay a monthly rental fee of $45,000 to temporarily house Chief Secretary Orville London and his family at a villa at Tobago Plantations in Lowlands is above board.
London’s new housing arrangements take effect from today, for six months.
The decision was taken to relocate London to the Plantations villa because of the dilapidated condition of the Chief Secretary’s more than 50-year-old official residence at Quarters #25, located at Hampden Lowlands.
The Express was told that it is a single family dwelling, which was acquired in the 1950s, and was previously used as the official residence of several former permanent secretaries.
London’s new housing arrangements were announced last month by THA chief administrator Dr Ellis Burris and administrative officer for property management Herbert Delancy at a news conference.
Yesterday, Delancy told the Express that the decision to enter a lease rental arrangement to provide accommodation for the Chief Secretary was above board and did not contravene the tenets of Circular No 4, issued by the Salaries Review Commission (SRC), which outlines the remuneration arrangement for holders of public offices.
Delancy provided the Express with a two-page document on the matter, in which he quoted the SRC circular as clearly stating that, as it applies to the Chief Secretary, the “official residence (is) to be maintained by the Assembly, (and) where the official residence is not available for occupation and appropriate alternative arrangements for official accommodation are not established, an allowance of $10,300 per month to be payable”…READ MORE