The Works Ministry under the past PNM administration commissioned a $21 million transport study which was never done, Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner claimed yesterday.
"So we pay $21 million for a non-study!" Warner added in the House of Representatives during debate on procurement legislation.
Noting allegations against the former PNM administration including on Udecott, Warner said the time had come to "cure" procurement.
The front-line government minister also sent a strong warning to his People's Partnership side:"Anyone caught stealing from the public purse on this side will feel the full brunt of the law! And those on the PNM side whether white or black, you'll pay for it–we shall not look the other way!" Warner declared.
Promoting the need for procurement legislation, Warner launched an attack on three former top-level PNM administration members whom he accused of "consummate inconsistency–former works minister Colm Imbert, Opposition Leader Keith Rowley and former prime minister Patrick Manning.
Noting situations in his ministry–before his tenure–as examples for the need for procurement policy, Warner said the ministry had commissioned a transport study from the firm of Parsons and Brinkenhoff–yet this was not done.
Warner questioned how the contract was awarded, on what terms and whether any other company bid for the project.He also remarked: "A man also call a boat after his wife, the MV Su, shortened for Suzette...If you buying your wife a gift, buy it, but not through government policy."
Warner said there was no procurement policy in place when the $25 million MV Su vessel was bought. "It never hit the water...it's parked in Chaguaramas," he added.Warner said Imbert seemed to "have a serious problem with procurement" and tended to practise the "politics of distraction."
He noted Imbert had matter in the court to settle.Imbert's court case was also the subject of comment by Education Minister Tim Gopeesingh who wound up debate on the legislation."I heard he (Imbert) was whispering like a cockroach in his own procurement matter in the court," Gopeesingh said.
Warner said Rowley was trying desperately to manoeuvre all over as PNM leader now when he was the "raging bull of Diego Martin" months ago, smarting from being sacked and being called "the worst possible names" by Manning.
Warner said Rowley tried to be a martyr by posing as a "corruption buster" in the PNM. Her said the PNM was currently where it is because of corruption."You will never see this side (government) again! Take my word for it," Warner told the PNM side. (See Page A24)