The Opposition PNM is insisting that nothing less than a Commission of Enquiry must be appointed to investigate the award and execution of Petrotrin's South West Soldado project.
This point was made by St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh during his contribution to yesterday's House of Representatives debate on a private motion on the project. It was presented for debate by Point Fortin MP Paula Gopee-Scoon.
The motion called for an immediate investigation into "allegations of impropriety" in the project, which allegedly involved "the illegal advance payment of US$1.25 million that was not in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract."
The motion also claimed "there was a transfer of US$750,000 into two private bank accounts at Scotiabank, Maraval."
Deyalsingh said the Opposition would not be satisfied with a forensic audit into the project "but an independent audit or a full-blown Commission of Enquiry."
He said if a Commission of Enquiry was held witnesses would be able to give evidence on issues such as:
�2 Who authorised the payment of US$1.25 million?
�2 Why did Petrotrin bypass its own procurement rules?
�2 Who authorised a mobilisation fee when the contract provided for none?
Deyalsingh said while the Opposition would like the Petrotrin board to be removed, that was not expected. He said apart from crime and unemployment, the issue of institutional failure was one of the major problems facing the country.
He said that observation was based on recent resignations from certain boards across the country.
Deyalsingh said, "We are seeing it with resignations from the Integrity Commission. No institution in T&T is standing tall and proud. None."
Labour Minister Errol Mc Leod said the Government was committed to an investigation into the matter and to taking action against anyone guilty of wrongdoing if such recommendations were made.