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Secretaries Answers to Questions


24. MINORITY LEADER asked the Secretery of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development the following question:

“As it relates to road works and infrastructure projects the Chief Secretary made mention of at a recent press conference, namely, Friendship Estate, Bon Accord, Dutch Fort, Argyle, Shirvan Road, Store Bay Local Road, Gaskin Bay Road, Connector Road, Lammy Road, Argyle, and the connector road to Scarborough RC, can the Secretary indicate the following:

   (a) Which contractors were selected for these projects?

2:00 P.M

     Madam Presiding Officer, the preamble to the questions that the Minority Leader alluded to, and his ascribing comments made by the Chief Secretary, it is not for me to speak on the veracity of these  comments. However, it forms the basis for the questions posed.

     My good friend on the other side went on to name ten (10) places. It is unfortunate that the question that is written is vague and out of an abundance of caution, and so as to not mislead the House, I am compelled not to speculate on what the project or projects cost as being asked.

     Madam Presiding Officer, I am quite happy that this Secretary would have chosen to go down the road of dodging behind technicalities and so forth. I came here prepared with specific roads and specific contractors for him to answer today, and I hope that he came prepared as well.

     So with respect to the road and as the Letter of Award would have indicated - Mt. Marie to Dutch Fort - we want to know as the question asked, which contractor was selected for that project and what was the amount awarded for same; as it relates to the Shirvan to Friendship project, we want to know which contractor was selected for that project and what was the amount for same; as it relates to the Canaan to Pigeon Point project, we want to know which contractor was selected for that project and what was the amount for same; and as it relates to the works at Lammy Road to Argyle (because I saw it myself) we want to know who was the contractor selected for that project and what was the amount.

Madam Presiding Officer, I think that there is a severe lack of understanding of what ‘selected’ means or what ‘award’ means in the procurement process. Contracts to be specific - the Division selected no one contractor for any of those projects. We have awarded contracts, but we did not select a contractor - just to be clear so that the Member does not go down the wrong road. The Division went through a process of selective tendering. Out of that selective tendering,selective contractors responded and the Division, based on an assessment of the responses,awarded contracts to the successful tenderer. So maybe the Member wants to restate his question.

Madam Presiding Officer, since we are going down the road of  technicalities, I would like to replace the word ‘selected’ with ‘awarded,’ and I hope that that would allow him to answer the question as posed.

Excuse me, Minority Leader. Go again.

I withdrew the word ‘selected’ and I am now asking for the contractors that were awarded for the roads mentioned:

  • Shirvan to Friendship;

  • Dutch Fort to Mt. Marie;

  • Canaan to Pigeon Point; and

  • Lammy Road, Argyle.

     The contractors who were awarded for the Argyle to Roxborough Bloody Bay Road - the name of the contractor - Construction Services & Supplies Ltd.; the value of the contract - twenty-five million, eight hundred and seventy-two thousand, five hundred and ninety-five dollars and eighty-eight cents ($25,872,595.88). 

     For the project from Dutch Fort to Scarborough Roman Catholic School - it was awarded to California Stoko Ltd., for a sum of nineteen million, four hundred and eighty thousand, sixty-one dollars and six cents ($19,480,061.06).

     For the contract from Milford Road to Pigeon Point connecting through Milford Court and Bon Accord Development - the contract was awarded to Innovative Roofing & Construction Solutions Ltd, for a sum of fifty-four million, seven hundred and eighty-one thousand, eight hundred and twenty dollars ($54,781,820).

My understanding is that there is a Shirvan to Friendship project that is on the table. Has that been awarded?

Madam Presiding Officer, I am answering questions based on what was written. The question was asked about roads that have been awarded and I have answered based on roads that have been awarded.

Can the Secretary indicate whether any Letter of Award has been awarded or is to be awarded to a company by the name of TN Ramnath?

I was just about to ask the same question. Is this in keeping with the road works?

This is in keeping with the road works

Which road works in particular?

As it relates to road works and infrastructure; so we are talking about road works and infrastructure.

We also listed very ...

I listed about ten. He admitted that I listed about ten, so it falls within one of those ten.

Can you please state which one of the ten.

I do not have the information, I am asking the question.

This is an open-ended question.
Assemblyman James, are you so inclined to answer?

I will repeat my answer, Madam Presiding Officer. The question is, which contractors were awarded for these projects and I have answered that question. I have no information on what the Minority Leader is asking.

So, I am asking whether TN Ramnath is one of those contractors who has a Letter of Award, or is to be awarded a contract at this time? Out of all these roads I mentioned - the one at Shirvan to Friendship and the others, is TN Ramnath part of the list of awarded contractors or selected contractors? I realize he does not like the word, ‘selected’.

Madam Presiding Officer, I will answer one question if the Member would list all the contractors he is interested in from TN to Warners to Ki to whomever he wants to ask about. Let him ask me one question and I can give him one answer.

I am specifically asking about TN Ramnath at this time.

Listen, this is not a debate.

Members, Honourable Members.
Assemblyman James, can this answer be provided via written answer to the Minority Leader? Is the information readily available? [Crosstalk] Minority Leader, I am speaking on your behalf.

Thank you so much, Madam Presiding Officer.

Can the response be forwarded to the Minority Leader?

     I can give the response now. The response is, no. I can write it as well. [Laughter] [Desk thumping] Seeing that you are asking for me to write the answer, I would use two pages to write it for the Minority Leader. Because I am explaining that there is no contract that was issued...

    I believe that that is what he is trying to say.
There is no contract.

     We appreciate that and as I wind up on this issue, I just want the Honourable Secretary to explain to the Honourable House, where he mentioned - and the word that jumped out at me, is ‘roofing.’ This roofing company - and we know that the Pigeon Point area is a very eco-sensitive area. On what basis the technical evaluation would have brought out a roofing company to go into our most eco-sensitive area in Tobago? What was the justification?

    That sounds like a whole new question.

Madam Presiding Officer, I am being badgered by this gentleman. He has asked two questions that have mushroomed into five. Maybe he needs a lesson on how to write his questions. [Crosstalk]

Assemblyman James, can you answer that question; can you provide us with an answer for that question?

2:10 P.M

I will consider the answer once the question is repeated.

I am simply saying, that based on the fact that my investigations would have shown that this company is a Roofing Company,only two (2) years established, and this work is to be done in the most eco- sensitive area - we would have run Sandals out of town because we said this area is very eco sensitive and we do not want people to go in and destroy the fabric.

This is pertaining to which one of the road works listed here?

     The one at Pigeon Point. So I am saying, on what basis,or what is the justification; what is the rational for taking an inexperienced company and putting them to do works in our most eco-sensitive environment?

Minority Leader, I do not think that is a reasonable question to ask at this point in time. I would allow you,however, to bring that question back to the House at the next Sitting. Can we move on?

Next question, Minority Leader.

Thank you. Okay, yes man. I like this question.

10th Plenary Sitting Tobago House of Assembly 2021 - 2025 Session


27 October 2022
Supplemental question to the main question :
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