The crude and brazen decision of former Education Facilities Company Ltd’s (EFCL) Chairman Arnold Piggott to refuse to appear before a parliamentary Joint Select Committee (JSC) is characteristic of the contemptuous and arrogant Rowley regime.
Mr. Piggott not only ignored a constitutionally-constituted Committee but he also issued an arrogant and self-indulgent statement to support his appalling decision.
His disgraceful move has taken place in the midst of revelations that the Board of Directors he headed had overstepped its boundaries and interfered in the day-to-day operations of EFCL and was involved in improprieties pertaining to procurement.
In addition, the Piggott-led Board had approved unqualified personnel for appointment and had abused the company’s resources for personal use.
Mr. Piggott’s resignation last June took place after major allegations of irregularities. Attorney General Faris Al Rawi had previously summoned a meeting of the Board of Directors amidst the serious claims.
Now Mr. Piggott is refusing to cooperate in an enquiry into his stewardship by a bi-partisan committee of Parliament.
This is symptomatic of a regime that has steadfastly refused to hold anyone accountable in the multi-million-dollar racket in the procurement of inter-island vessels and has, instead, dismissed the whistleblower Chief Executive Officer.
There has also not been any move to initiate criminal proceedings in the “fake oil” scandal, which set back taxpayers $111 million.
The Rowley regime has withdrawn litigation against then-Petrotrin officials who presided over the billion-dollar World Gas-to-Liquids (WGTL) debacle, the most reckless and costliest decision in the history of the State sector.
The PNM government is consistently turning a blind eye to blatant corruption, misspending and waste by its officials.
Such sleaze and squandermania have aggravated the national financial situation, leading to enormous suffering imposed on the working masses, such as non-payment to caterers of the School Feeding programme; school social workers and the late payment of salary to some public servants.
This government has embarked on frivolous court charges and threats of locking up opposition members in order to blind side the population to their corruption
The Joint Select Committee on State Enterprises must be heartily commended for its decision to summon Mr. Piggott to its next meeting.