Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 1st 2015 Contents A9
November 1, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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"I am coming for you!"
This was the warning from
Attorney General (AG) Faris Al-
Rawi yesterday as he spoke of
rooting out corruption from the
rank and file of state institutions.
Al-Rawi, the member of Parlia-
ment for San Fernando West, was
speaking at the launch of the San
Fernando City Corporation s (SFFC)
city-wide clean-up campaign, at
the SFFC compound on Carib
Street, San Fernando.
"The task is to remove corrup-
tion from the rank and file of the
State. Ladies and gentlemen, that
is a task that falls to me as Attorney
General in large part, and I want
to send a message to T&T: We are
very serious about holding people
accountable for public money," said
Al Rawi. "As AG, I don t intend to
be bombastic, I don t intend to run
around saying: I m coming for you
and I m coming for you and I m
coming for you .
"But I want to let you know: I
am coming for you!"
He said Prime Minister Dr Keith
Rowley has given the directive for
honest and efficient performance.
"And I want to let you know that
the PM has given a simple clear
directive, this country needs to be
honest, this country can pay for
everything that it needs to pay for
if everyone is honest and efficient
in the systems.
"With no witch hunting in mind
but with accountability in mind
and so, this message is not for any
political opponent, it is for all of
T&T: be honest and be efficient
in what you do because the law
will be applied to bring you to
account for what you have done."
Questioning the previous admin-
istration s $400 billion expenditure
during their tenure, Al-Rawi said
the nation s second city had been
neglected for the past five years.
"San Fernando proper and its
environs have been neglected for
a very long time, we have not had
our fair share of the national pie,
our city has been neglected. Life
needs to return to our city, cor-
ruption needs to be rooted out,
cleanliness needs to be in mind,
body, spirit and place. For far too
long we have asked ourselves where
has $400 billion in five years been
spent?" Al-Rawi said in the last
fiscal year, the corporation s public
health budget was cut to nothing.
"The SFFC had its public health
budget reduced to zero dollars and
zero cents a year ago. What we got
from the last ministry of Local
Government was the entire allo-
cation for public health removed
from the San Fernando East, West,
Pointe-a-Pierre and parts of
Oropouche that we represent."
He praised the council for man-
aging without the funds for the
year and promised the PNM
administration would do things
"But we haven t come as a Gov-
ernment to do the same thing, the
same way and expect different
results, we have come as a Gov-
ernment to do two very important
things which include volunteerism
and to change the systemic struc-
ture of the SFFC."
He explained that the new struc-
ture would allow the corporation
to collect its own revenue from San
Fernandians. Also speaking at the
launch was president of the San
Fernando Business Association
Daphne Bartlett, who called on the
new administration not to neglect
projects like the San Fernando
Waterfront Development project.
Bureaucratic delay is being
blamed for calypsonian the Mighty
Sparrow s not receiving the $2 mil-
lion promised to him by the then
People s Partnership (PP) govern-
This was the reason given yester-
day by former executive director of
the communication ministry s rapid
response and current affairs, Andy
Johnson was responding to an arti-
cle in yesterday s Guardian headlined
"Broke Sparrow pleads for help."
Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) com-
plained in the article that he had not
received the $2 million the Ministry
of Culture in 2014 had promised to
pay him to acquire his memorabilia
for a period of ten years.
Johnson said when the PP agreed
to pay Sparrow, a contract was drawn
up by the ministry and sent to the
attorney general s office for vetting.
From there, the contract was for-
warded to the solicitor general s
office, where it was not attended to.
Johnson said when he enquired
what was causing the delay, he was
told that the Solicitor General was
swamped with work and meetings.
"I formed the impression that the
matter was not being given any pri-
ority and was sitting in the Office
of the Solicitor General for weeks,"
He said when he spoke to Solicitor
General Carol Hernandez, she prom-
ised to get the contract "on top of
Thereafter, Johnson said, he heard
that Hernandez had looked at the
contract, but had issues with the
way it was drafted and sent it back
to the ministry.
"By that time, it was a week before
the general election and I felt nothing
was going to happen."
Johnson said the impression that
the public was left with was that the
PP never fulfilled its promise to Spar-
"The money was available for
Sparrow, but the delay in bureaucracy
put everything on hold. This is a
case of a delay in the system because
it had to be vetted. For whatever rea-
son, the contract was held there by
the officers in the ministry and it
stayed there for months."
Bureaucratic delay blamed
for Sparrow's $2m hold up
I am coming for
...AG moves to stamp out corruption from state institutions
The money was available for Sparrow, but the delay in
bureaucracy put everything on hold. This is a case of a delay in the
system because it had to be vetted. For whatever reason, the
contract was held there by the officers in the ministry and it
stayed there for months.
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