Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 4th 2015 Contents CASANDRA THOMPSON--FORBES
Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Orville
London says he has put measures in place to prevent cor-
ruption in the Assembly.
Over the past month, concerns had been raised by the public
about several instances where there was a perception of cor-
ruption at various divisions within the THA.
The most recent issue was at the Division of Infrastructure
and Public Utilities with the rental portable toilets. In October,
an official within the division s Unemployment Relief Programme
was also allegedly slapped with a one-month suspension with
full pay, pending an internal investigation into a series of irreg-
ularities in the administration of the programme.
The action followed numerous complaints and allegations
of improper use of government property and also the non-
payment of suppliers over an extended period.
In an in depth radio interview last week, London said Tobag-
onians need to get away from the "know syndrome," where
many are aware of the wrong doing but are unwilling to report
it because they know the individuals personally.
"When we find them in acts of corruption we do not take
the relevant action because we know their mother or they
went to school with their father ... that has to stop," London
"Secondly, we have already instituted in some of the divisions
the relevant investigative process, some of those reports are
coming in and we have instructed that anybody who does not
take the relevant action is going to answer to me."
He also warned members of the business community on
the island not to participate in such acts, as they would not
benefit in any way from corruption.
He said when dishonest acts are being perpetrated, they
involved targeting businesses for favours on behalf of the THA,
under the guise of an emergency. He said, however, that goods
and services would have to be accompanied by the relevant
documentation or they would be breaking the law.
"There have been instances where persons have gone to
business places and sometimes for good reason, and say listen
this is an emergency situation, I want you to give me X amount
of material. I want to make it very clear, the Assembly has
been instructed, every division, that under no circumstances
will any business place be paid for any material delivered to
any division, under any circumstances, without the relevant
documentation," London said.
"The administrators have been informed that anybody who
pays under those circumstances has a case to answer because
they are also breaking the law."
A tough talking London also urged Tobagonians to be vocal
on the topic, as they had a responsibility to report occurrences
of corruption, noting that staying silent was also illegal
"If you are aware of corruption and you do not reveal it is
a charge. It is a charge punishable by five hundred thousand
dollars fine and one year in jail. I m using that to let all of the
public understand, because we cannot treat with corruption
only from the level of the Assembly Executive, when you have
treat with corruption at every level," he said.
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Jh'Adore Noray and Joelene Sterling strike a pose after getting their faces painted
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