Last update: 09-Dec-2013 12:11 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Just say no to SNC-Lavalin
Investigations by the World Bank into other projects uncovered a widespread practice of paying “project consultancy costs” up to a total of ten per cent of a project’s overall cost using PCC as a secret accounting code. The World Bank discovered the practice in projects undertaken by SNC-Lavalin in ten countries, from Ghana to Kazakhstan to Cambodia, five of the projects being based in Nigeria.
Last week’s announcement by Minister of Housing Dr Roodal Moonilal that the Government’s arrangements with SNC-Lavalin for the construction of the $1 billion Penal hospital project were costing him sleep does not bode well for T&T. Such ministerial restlessness suggests that pursuing the arrangement is likely to lead to years, if not decades of fiscal insomnia for this country should the project go forward with the company. The project is still in its earliest stages and Dr Moonilal has acknowledged that it is possible to cancel the contract and choose another vendor. The Opposition has not been so circumspect in its opinions about the choice of SNC-Lavalin. Diego Martin North-East MP Colm Imbert called last week for the Government to “cease and desist from entering into any future contractual relationships with SNC-Lavalin or any of its affiliates.”
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