Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2014 Contents A5
Saturday, November 8, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Opposition MP Colm Imbert yesterday
criticised the Government for seeking to
approve new procurement legislation that
gave the proposed regulator too much
He was speaking in Parliament yesterday
during debate on new procurement legisla-
tion, which was brought by Planning and
Sustainable Development Minister Dr Bhoen-
Imbert said the law provided no checks
and balances for the official, who was to be
appointed by the President. A review panel
should be established to look at certain deci-
sions of the procurement regulator, he said.
Without a review panel there would be a
lengthy and costly process to challenge any
decision of the regulator, he said.
"It will take you years and will cost you
millions to challenge a decision of a pro-
curement entity," he added.
Imbert said in Grenada there was a pro-
curement board which reviewed the decisions
of a procurement entity there.
Based on the proposed law, there was
nobody to review the decisions made by the
regulator other than the High Court, he said,
telling legislators T&T "must be the only
country in the world that has that situation."
Describing the bill as defective, Imbert
said when it became law and the regulator
was appointed for a seven-year term he or
she "can suspend procurement, terminate
procurement, can overturn a contract."
That could only be challenged via the
lengthy and costly court process and that
situation could not be accepted in any pro-
gressive nation, he argued.
He added: "You can t have that because
what the Executive is doing is handing over
its development programme to an unelected
official who will not and cannot be removed
by anybody in practice and would have
He said the Opposition drafted amend-
ments to the legislation to prevent that sit-
uation but they were not accepted by the
Government. One of them, he said, would
provide for the regulator to be removed by
the findings of a tribunal appointed by the
President following a resolution of both
Houses of Parliament.
Tewarie made no mention of that during
his presentation earlier, he said, and did not
address the issues that Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar said would be dealt with
during the October break.
But Works and Infrastructure Minister Dr
Surujrattan Rambachan, who spoke after
Imbert, said there were provisions in the leg-
islation for the removal of the regulator and
the conditions for removal of the regulator
were clearly spelt out in the legislation.
"The regulator," he said, "cannot just get
up an decide that I will put pressure on
somebody and I will do this and so on. It
cannot happen like that.
"There are checks and balances in the leg-
islation to deal with these particular mat-
He said the bill also provided for the behav-
iour of the regulator to be debated in Par-
liament if necessary.
Following that, the Finance and the Econ-
omy Minister "can then make recommen-
dations to the Cabinet for the removal of the
regulator and this can then be put to the
President for action," he noted.
He said Imbert omitted to mention that
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar reacts to comments by Opposition leader Keith
Rowley during yesterday's sitting of Parliament. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Three Petrotrin managers positions were ter-
minated or have resigned following the Pointe-
a Pierre/Marabella oil spill earlier in the year,
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said yester-
Ramnarine did so in Parliament, responding to
He said it was anticipated there would be anoth-
er termination or resignation of a manager and
disciplinary action was to be taken against two
Ramnarine said Petrotrin s vice-president (refin-
ing and marketing) Madhoo Bachan was among
those who resigned and was no longer on sus-
pension with full pay.
He said Bachan resigned on October 10. Ram-
narine said he could not say why Bachan resigned
but the latter took a personal decision and had
not been terminated.
Ramnarine said Bachan was replaced from Octo-
ber 11 by Jonathan Barden, who had acted in the
post during Bachan s suspension.
Barden, a chemical engineer, who was previously
Petrotrin s senior manager (refining), has 25 years
experiences in oil refining in four countries and
16 years experience at BP.
Ramnarine said Petrotrin s internal business
investigation into the oil spill started on August
6 and ended on October 9 and was done by a
cross-functional team, comprising managers of
seven areas and an OWTU representative.
An independent investigation and root-cause
analysis were done by Pricewaterhouse Coopers
into the Tank MP6 leaks.
Ramnarine said that confirmed the need for
observance and updating of systems and proce-
dures. The report was submitted to the board on
October 6 and referred to Petrotrin management
on October 31.
He said an industrial relations investigation was
done by the company s IR Department to deter-
mine whether due process was followed in the
maintenance and operations of Tank MP6.
Arising from investigations on the Tank MP6,
recommendations on systems and procedures
were made to ensure there was no recurrence of
an oil spill from the tank farm, he added.
Ramnarine said 19,512 barrels were discharged
from Tank MP6 and all except that lost to evap-
oration or absorption in the soil was recovered.
"No oil reached the sea," he said. (GA)
The mother of five children whose
father took them to Syria after he joined
the Islamic State (Isis) as a terrorist fight-
er has sought refuge at the Umar Ibn
Khattab Masjid, Rio Claro.
The mother, who declined to speak, has
been treated for depression at the San Fer-
nando General Hospital. Sitting on a chair
at the masjid, wearing a brown hijab, the
distraught mother remained silent when
asked about the whereabouts of her chil-
She smiled when this reporter asked
when she was expecting her three daugh-
ters to return home. When asked the ages
of her children, the woman excused herself
and left the room. She did not return.
Her children and their stepmother have
been detained by police and soldiers at
the Turkish border since October 9.
The children s father took their step-
mother, along with his three daughters---
aged 17, 14 and 12---and two boys---six and
three---to Curacao sometime in September.
They then travelled to Turkey and then to
Police said while in Syria the woman
and her stepdaughters managed to escape
and reached the Turkish border, where
they were held and taken to a refugee
Minister of National Security Gary Grif-
fith said the Counter Trafficking Agency
was expected to escort the woman and
children back to T&T this weekend.
Imam Nazim Mohammed said the chil-
dren s biological mother has been receiving
help at his masjid. Asked whether she was
receiving psychiatric counselling,
Mohammed said: "We have the best psy-
chological help in the Qu ran and that is
what she is getting."
Asked about Isis, Mohammed said: "I
am not an Isis recruiter. I don t care how
people perceive me. I care about how God
He admitted that Muslims who went to
Syria may have passed through his mosque.
Tobago police are investigating the circum-
stances under which a five-year-old girl drowned
The child has been identified as Kevel Edwards
of Mason Hall.
The T&T Guardian understands that the girl
died after she swallowed water from a pool in her
Police said Kevel was playing in an inflatable
pool at her home at Sandy River, Mason Hall,
when her mother, Cainelline Matthews-Edwards,
took her out of the pool and left her nearby while
she went inside to get a towel.
When Matthews-Edwards returned she dis-
covered the child s body floating in the pool.
Police said the child was taken to the Scarbor-
ough General Hospital but was pronounced dead
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Scarbor-
ough police are investigating.
left after oil spill
Tobago girl, 5,
drowns in pool
Imbert on procurement legislation:
Too much power
for the regulator
After being taken to Isis by dad...
T&T in bid to bring home 3 children
GRIFFITH MUM ON RESCUE
Contacted last night, National
Security Minister Gary Griffith said the
operation to bring the family back to
T&T was ongoing.
However, he declined to say at what
stage it had reached.
"I am obliged to respect the privacy of
the family until they at least get to
London. I prefer not to comment now
because to do so will compromise the
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