Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 16th 2017 Contents news A11
Monday, January 16, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Former head of the
public service, Tobago-
nian, Reginald Dumas,
says the PNM is expected to
retain control of the Tobago
House of Assembly but its new
leader Kelvin Charles is expect-
ed to face a stiff challenge to win
electoral district of Black Rock/
He is being challenged by for-
mer THA Assemblyman Bev-
erley Ramsey-Moore in the
next Monday's elections.
The PNM won all 12 elec-
toral districts in the last
It is being led for
the first time by Kelvin
Charles as Chief Secretary
Orville London is not con-
Other parties contesting
the elections are the Pro-
gressive Democratic Pa-
triots (PDP)--- led by PSA
president Watson Duke,
the Tobago Forwards
(TF)---led by former Jus-
tice Minister Christlyn
Moore and the Movement for
Transformation (MFT) led by
former Tobago East MP Eudine
As campaigning enters its fi-
nal week, Dumas said the peo-
ple of T&T were "in a mood of
almost indifference," and pre-
dicted that there would be a low
turnout at the polls.
He described the perfor-
mance of the outgoing THA
over the past four years , under
London as "pretty mediocre.
There have been a few roads
widened and a few box drains
Dumas said the two key ele-
ments for development have always
been education and health, but he said
while education was not effectively
addressed by the THA there were some
positives in health.
Ramsey-Moore was also contacted
for comment. She said she was confi-
dent she would defeat Charles at the
polls next Monday.
She said "all the sectors" of the THA
"have crashed (and) there is a crisis in
health, there is a crisis in education ,
there is a crisis in agriculture and all
the major sectors."
She said the people of Tobago
were not prepared to continue with
that type of governance over the next
Ramsey-Moore said Tobagonians
were complaining about the state of
the roads, drainage and other facilities
on the island.
Campaigning for the elections is
expected to intensify this week as
the various parties seek to secure the
support of the electorate.
Former public service
head on THA elections...
Approximately $500 million remains outstand-
ing to the Urban Development Corporation of
T&T (Udecott) by various client Ministries/De-
partments, including the largest debts owed by
the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of National
This was disclosed in the report released by the Joint
Select Committee on State Enterprises.
The report was made public during a press conference
that was held on Wednesday at the J Hamilton Maurice
Room, Office of the Parliament.
The JSC was informed that projects and facilities were
severely affected by poor cash flows from ministries/de-
partments to Udecott, which has affected both the cost
of delivery and the timely completion of projects.
It was made known that Ministries refused to pay
attendant financing charges for late payment on the
grounds that it was government's policy not to pay
Udecott officials indicated that this matter had
impacted the Corporation in several ways, including
its revenues and the ability to meet its recurrent op-
The JSC recommended that Udecott engage with
client ministries/departments regarding getting their
commitment to remit to Udecott at least 30 days in
advance at the start of each quarter, the funding re-
quired for works to be undertaken during the succes-
sive quarter, based on the cash flow projections which are
submitted by Udecott at the commencement of the project
in accordance with the approved budgets.
It was also advised that Udecott engage with client minis-
tries/departments to ensure an open line of communication
is established such that the company is advised a early as
possible of any delays in the scheduled transfer of funds
required for them to make payments on contractor invoices.
"Udecott should develop and implement a robust in-
ternal system that allows for the conduct of a project
reconciliation exercise to account to the client ministry/
department for funds utilised during the previous quarter,"
the report stated.
It was recommended that Udecott advise client minis-
tries/departments that they would be liable for financing/
interest charges incurred as a result of late payments.
Udecott has been called on to submit all outstanding
audited financial statements to Parliament.
It was disclosed that the corporation last submitted Audited
Financial Statements (AFS) for the year 2007. Officials at Udecott
indicated that there were challenges with respect to the prepa-
ration and submission of AFS.
The JSC found that although the AFS for 2008 was in the process
of finalisation, there were delays in compiling the information
because of a lack of documentation.
This lack of documentation was result of Udecott having sub-
mitted documentation on request, to the UFF Commission of
the Inquiry and the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau. It
was noted that recovery of these documents has proven to be
According to the JSC's report, officials divulged that given the
lack of audited financial statements consideration had been giv-
en to dissolving the Corporation and creating another company.
However, the Corporation decided against this and has since en-
gaged Ernst and Young, an external audit consultancy company,
to provide assistance in bringing the statements put to date by
The JSC recommended that the Ministry of Housing and Ur-
ban Development take the necessary steps to ensure that Udecott
submits all the outstanding AFS to Parliament in the shortest
The AFS should be submitted by September (this year).
Udecott has also been advised by the JSC to urgently instate a
proper data management and backup system to mitigate against
a recurrence of the issuee of a paucity of proper documentation.
Udecott's officials have also been advised to ensure that there
are certified copies so that original documents are not submitted
to Commission of Enquiries, parliamentary Committees to similar
JSC report on State Enterprise...
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