THE UNC CONTINUES ITS CALL TO PROCLAIM THE PROCUREMENT LAW WHICH WAS PASSED UNDER THE KPB-LED GOVERNMENT
The most radical and effective anti-corruption law passed in the history of our country continues to languish, be abused and be suppressed by this massively corrupt Rowley PNM government.
We can see clearly now why Keith Rowley does not want the President to proclaim this law, which had already been passed under the previous Kamla Persad-Bissessar led government.
Rowley would not have been able to approve the award of the Tobago zipline contract to a non-existent company, if the procurement law was proclaimed.
Rowley and Stuart Young wouldn’t have been able to take a trip to Australia and purchase for over $1.1 billion two ferries from halfway around the world, 11,000 miles away to shuffle 20 miles back and forth between Trinidad and Tobago.
These purchases and contracts would have had to be independently scrutinised and approved first. Keith Rowley does not want that.
The PNM can get proclaimed the part of the local government election law that would postpone elections for one year, or proclaim that part of the Data Protection Act which allows information to be shared, but not the part for this data sharing to be overseen by an independent regulator.
However, the PNM cannot proclaim the Procurement law, even though they have been paying the staff for years now, to essentially do nothing.
In fact, in the meanwhile, the PNM have gutted and emasculated the Procurement law to allow some of the most important types of government contracts and payments to escape its scrutiny.
This shows the criminal, mafia nature of the Rowley PNM government, particularly in light of the fact that he and his Cabinet ministers have recused themselves at least 210 times, as contracts and payments have been made by the government to themselves, or their family members in these instances.
Notably, Ministers do not have to recuse themselves when contracts and payments are made to friends and financiers, only when payments are authorised to themselves or family members.
This is precisely what the Procurement law was made to stop.
The UNC is proud of this historic Procurement legislation. We want to see it proclaimed now, even in its castrated form.
The Procurement legislation falls into line with the UNC’s unparalleled record of creating a more democratic, transparent and accountable government in Trinidad and Tobago.
This includes the Judicial Review Act, the Equal Opportunities Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Joint Select Committees of Parliament to scrutinise the Ministries, State Companies and Service Commissions. The PNM opposed all of these revolutionary laws. They have always preferred a government of secrecy and Cabinet dictatorship, which they had enshrined in the original Independence and Republican constitutions.
The PNM must stop abusing its executive power and immediately send to the President the Procurement law that has already been passed by Parliament since 2015.
There is no excuse not to do so, except that the PNM wishes to continue ziplining into the Treasury to steal more.
Dr. Kirk Meighoo
Public Relations Officer
United National Congress