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Secretaries Answers to Questions

School Repairs – Scarborough Secondary School

32. THE MINORITY LEADER: asked   the Secretary of Education, Research and Technology the following question:

As it relates to the ongoing school repairs at the   Scarborough Secondary, can the Secretary indicate the following:

a. The name and address   of the contractor awarded the works at the Scarborough Secondary School.

b. The date the contract   was awarded and the date of estimated completion.

The Scarborough Secondary School-package two; name of contractor - Randall Construction Company. Damion Sobers is the owner of that company. Address - No. #49 Rockley Vale, Scarborough, Tobago. Package name - ‘Roofing Works’. Contract sum - Five hundred and eighty-eight thousand, four hundred and sixty-five dollars $588,465,00.00). Contract period -August, 24th 2022 to September 8th 2022.   Eighty-five percent (85%) in progress; and I would explain why.

    The initial contract for Randall Construction was   suspended due to rusted structural roof members that were found when the contractor was about to replace the roofing sheets over the auditorium. That   impacted the initial Contract. This is now pending the installation of new   structural roof members for the contractor to complete all of his works for   that contract. However, the initial contract will take effect subsequent to the tendering process for the installation of the new structural roof   members, which is anticipated to take two to three weeks for completion, and  will commence on December 9th, 2022 and should be completed by   December 31st 2022.

     Package No. 3 - Randall Construction Company - Damion Sobers, #49 Rockley Vale, Scarborough, Tobago.

    Ceiling works and tiling works - contract sum - five   hundred and sixty-three thousand, six hundred and ninety-five dollars and eighty-eight cents.   ($563,695.88). Contract period - August 24th, 2022 to September 4th,   2022. Eighty percent (80%) in progress.

     Explanation: The ceiling and tiling works are at eighty   percent (80%) - are ongoing because at block C, which comprises the Food   Nutrition and Clothing and Textile rooms - they are experiencing settlement   of earth movements that have caused constant breaking of tiles.

   The plan was to remove the tiles and return the floor to its original terrazzo finish, but due to the large dust output of the nature of the works, the IT room was prioritized to be completed first, which was completed at the end of that evening of September 4th 2022. Because we do not want to create a health hazard for staff and students, we made the decision to postpone the floor of the Food and Nutrition and Clothing and Textile rooms to be commenced on Monday, December 12th, 2022 and should be completed on December 31st, 2022. Thank you, Madam Presiding Officer.

Having established that the contract was awarded in and around the August 24th’ 2022, and school would have re-opened perhaps two weeks or so after,   does the Secretary not find it quite irresponsible that we allowed students   to go into such an environment, and does the Secretary consider such a   decision very much reprehensible?

Is that the question, Minority Leader? Agreed?

Yes. Does she consider it reprehensible and  irresponsible?

2:30 P.M

Secretary Hackett.

Madam Presiding Officer, Standing Order 25 (1),

“The right to ask a question shall be subject to the following general rules as to the interpretation of which the Presiding Officer shall be the sole judge.”

Section E:

“A question shall not contain arguments, inferences,   opinions, imputations, epithets, ironical expressions, or hypothetical   cases.”

Thank you, Madam   Presiding Officer.

Madam Presiding Officer, who is ruling? Is she...


Minority Leader, I am cautioning you, please, do not go   there.

No, but I am asking, is she going to answer the question whether it is... [Interruption]

Members, Members, Members ...

 So, since you accept that it was irresponsible, I am going to ask her to confirm whether there was - because I saw a clip where she indicated that there were no Trinidad contractors engaged in the programme. So, is she still standing by those claims?

Standing Order, 25 (1)   and Section F.

“A question shall not be asked which raises an issue...” [Interruption]

I am aware of this Standing Orders, are you going to answer the question?

Members, I would   caution you all, to not let your emotions get in the way, please.

We are here to conduct the business of Tobago’s people. That   alone should take paramount in any case. Please, temper your emotions.

    Secretary Hackett, can   you answer the question? Yes or no?

Madam, Presiding Officer, at a press briefing, the Secretary   did indicate, contrary to fake profiles and such, that no Trinidad   contractors were engaged. All I am asking her, is whether she still stands by   that.

Madam Presiding Officer, the question on the Order Paper   asked about the Scarborough Secondary School, I sent a list of every   contractor and every address... [Interruption]

Minority Leader, have you received...   a package for Written Answer in the last Sitting; an entire document and I would like the Minority Leader to refer to said package.

Thank you, Madam   Presiding Officer.

Did you receive the documentation?

Sure, Madam Presiding Officer...

Written answers from the last Sitting.

Name of company; name of school assigned; description of   works; subtotal; contract sum; mobilization; interim payment; payment status;   completion. There is nothing that gives me any address, Madam Presiding   Officer. So all I am asking her to do, is whether she is prepared to stand...   [Interruption]

Madam Presiding Officer, I would get on to my Procurement   Unit who should have that information and I would be pleased to submit that   information to the Minority Leader at a later date.

The question is clear, because she was the one who would have   liaised with her Division and she was clear to tell all of Tobago, that there   were no Trinidad contractors engaged.

The information would be provided to you, for your information. Can you provide... [Interruption]

So I can comfortably say that as of now, the Secretary - I can go by her words, that was said at the Press Conference,   right Secretary?

You are going to be provided with the information, Minority   Leader.

Thank you. Let us move on. We have a supplementary question   that was on the Order Paper at the last Sitting, that is question 26,   Minority Leader.

Madam Presiding Officer, before we go forward, with your indulgence, I would have submitted for ‘Written Answer’, a question to the Secretary of   Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development, and that question was dated sometime in September. We are now in November...


All questions should have been circulated to all Members.

We have not received... [Interruption]

I would ensure that those responses get unto you, Minority Leader.

That is the list of the forty...

I would ensure that you are provided with the responses from Secretary James.

I would humbly appreciate. Thank you.

11th Plenary Sitting Tobago House of Assembly 2021 - 2025 Session


24 November 2022
Supplemental question to the main question :
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