Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2015 Contents interview
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY, JULY 5, 2015
with Clevon Raphael
A new political party designed to woo the undecided
voters has been formed.
Mr Timothy Hamel-Smith is interim chairman of the
Third Force Movement which is aimed at eradicating
or at least reducing instances of corruption in the
country. The new party is putting heavy emphasis
on the procurement legislation which was recently
passed in Parliament. According to Hamel-Smith, a
former president of the Senate, in the absence of
party campaign financing and proper functioning
procurement legislation we would be spinning top in
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Mr Hamel-Smith, are
you a corrupt person?
(A wavering smile) That
doesn t even enter the equation, Clevon.
I guess you know that was
a rhetorical question and I
meant no malice, but it
reminds me of the infamous assertion
by a former PNM minister that "all
ah we t ief..."
(Chuckling) You always start your
interviews by asking a rhetorical ques-
tion, Clevon, go ahead.
The question arises after you said
in a recent television interview that
T&T was a corrupt society. I know
the vast majority of citizens are not
so inclined, including your good self.
Throughout our society, Clevon, if
you want to get something done you
have to know somebody or you have
to slip some money.
So you are maintaining that we are
indeed all corrupt?
I certainly wouldn t be entertaining
the taking or giving of bribes and I am
sure there are decent people around,
but it starts from the top and there s
a sense that things are not right and
there is a lot to be put right.
Do you doubt there are people who
refuse to be part of that...?
Absolutely. But we must make those
numbers larger because the truth is the
real foundation of the Third Force
Movement is that we know what we
are asking for and it is really attacking
I know you are anxious to get to
your Third Force venture but before
we get there, this corruption you speak
about, isn t that a reflection of the
type of leaders we have had over the
I believe that corruption starts from
the top. The fish does not rotten from
its tail but from the head, and that is
Third Force to woo undecided voters
why it is very important that pro-
curement legislation be imple-
mented because in fact, procure-
ment is about open competitive
tendering so that all of us have an
Mr Hamel-Smith, legislation
has been passed and don t you
think that the Government should
have put in place the necessary
infrastructure to have it function-
ing by now?
You know, Clevon, what you
have to recognise is that for ten
years we have been waiting, we
have been trying to get procure-
ment legislation. You have to pro-
claim certain sections of the act,
and there is a system where you
have to systematically do things
as having your regulator in place
because the regulator has to
approve the regulations. How can
you approve regulations without
having the regulator?
Would that be the end of the
legislative process in having this
act become law?
Then these regulations have to
be taken back to Parliament and
that is particularly what the Senate
wanted. That is what they want-
ed...an opportunity to review these
regulations, and there is no other
way than to go in steps towards
Mr Hamel-Smith, is there any
reasonable excuse why the Gov-
ernment has not as yet put in
place the infrastructure to facil-
itate the legislation?
Clevon, there is a lot of work to
be done. Throughout the ministries
you never had procurement entities
so there is training to be done in
this regard. You just cannot bring
in the legislation one day and
expect everything to be ready the
Continues on Page A11
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