5 Jun 2008

UDeCOTT's disrespect

Former Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis had cause to write to UDeCOTT Executive Chairman Calder Hart complaining about UDeCOTT's apparent "disrespect", disregard and contempt for the Ministers in the Cabinet, including herself who had oversight responsibility.

In a strongly worded letter, Robinson-Regis stated that she wanted to express her "utter dissatisfaction and disappointment with the inordinate delays by UDeCOTT in providing information requested by the Ministries of Planning and Development and Sport and Youth Affairs for the preparation of responses to questions posed to Ministers in the Parliament, and the preparation of status reports for Cabinet relating to projects being implemented by UDeCOTT".

The letter dated November 13, 2006, which was leaked to Express yesterday supports the notion that UDeCOTT had been a virtual run-away horse and the matter had reached the Prime Minister's ears.

"In some cases the information has been outstanding for several months, and this despite several reminders, including reminders sent by me personally, the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs (Roger Boynes) and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Questions Committee of the Cabinet (Colm Imbert)", she said.

"This situation is not only disrespectful, but has also occasioned great embarrassment to the Minister of Planning and to the Government in general", the letter stated.

Stating that this state of affairs could not be allowed to continue, she "directed" that UDeCOTT submit a review of proposed responses (to the parliamentary questions); status reports on five projects including the now controversial Academies for the Performing Arts and the Brian Lara Stadium, in Tarouba, indicating how the contracts were awarded, the rationale and authorisation for variation of any Cabinet decision and the cost overruns to date.

The letter in this newspaper's possession was stamped by UDeCOTT as having been received on November 27, 2006. A copy was sent to the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Patrick Manning. Robinson-Regis is now out of the Cabinet and serving as this country's High Commissioner to Canada.

Another former Planning Minister Dr Keith Rowley was fired recently while Sport Minister Boynes is also out.

Hart is still riding high.

Whooee! This Hart thing getting more and more serious as time goes by; skeletons flying out like Lapeyrouse cemetery get bulldozed.

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