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Outstanding minutes hold up CDA board resignations
While the board of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) remains in limbo, copies of seven board meeting minutes remain outstanding to directors. Among them is board minute 368 that lists details over the sacking of former chief executive officer Judith Mark.
The directors—Rocky Garcia, Richard Grainger, Wahid Mohammed, Rawlins Amar, Varun Debideen and Vyas Ramphalie were expected to resign yesterday, but have now decided not to step down until the board minutes could be confirmed and signed off. Only board member Brian Awai has tendered his resignation from the state enterprise.
Awai submitted his resignation to line minister Bhoe Tewarie on Wednesday. His resignation was accepted and confirmed on Thursday via e-mail. Awai was one of the seven board members who on Monday issued a disclaimer distancing themselves from playing any role in obtaining the telephone records of a T&T Guardian reporter and/or CDA employees.
The authority admitted on Monday that it had sought CDA telephone records in a bid to trace the source of information being published. In the wake of the fiasco, Tewarie announced on Tuesday that he was taking a note to Cabinet to change the board. He said there was too much contention between members.
Up to yesterday, there was no word on whether Cabinet had accepted Tewarie's decision to disband the board in light of the recent developments. The board members said the decision not to resign is to ensure that the minutes reflected the position of the present board.
"If we walk away, the board minutes could be changed. We spoke out against certain things and it must be reflected in the minutes. And in an interview with Sunday Guardian yesterday, board members called on Tewarie to come clean and say why he failed to address the numerous complaints reported to him.
Taking issue with Tewarie's comments that he inherited the board, another board member said, "We only started to have problems after Tewarie became responsible for us. We spoke out when demands for sexual favours surfaced in a $20 million deal.
We spoke about a land deal involving a third party and why a $2.9 million cheque was received by CDA. We have letters to prove that these matters were raised. Under minister Roodal Moonilal we had absolutely no problems. If we had a problem the issue was dealt with. We are being fired for speaking out against the wrong, but we are going to expose everything."
Tewarie: Board members wanted executive roles
When contacted yesterday, Tewarie did not confirm whether his recommendation to disband the board was accepted by Cabinet. However he confirmed letters were sent to him about board issues. “It revealed the fractious and contentious board. I tried to guide them. There was never any indication by the chairman that the board instructions were not being carried out.”
Tewarie said individual board members wanted to play an executive role and instructions were being given by individual board members that had nothing to do with board decisions. The minister also claimed that some board members acted as “agents” of CDA in their own right outside of the collective board agreement.
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