More allegations of corruption in public office were revealed on THE PDP campaign trail on Monday night as the caravan made a stop at the Black Rock hardcourt.
Viewership on social media peaked as curious citizens tuned in to hear more from the PDP’s Deputy Political Leader Farley Augustine about the contents of a stack of Tobago House Assembly Executive Council notes on the infamous zip line project.
On Sunday Augustine presented the stack of documents at a Charlotteville meeting, where he revealed that the original budget for the project was $4 million, and although the project was set for completion in 2015, $3.5 million dollars has been spent and the only evidence of the project is a portion of rope.
He said the documents also point to questionable procurement practices, this time by PNM stalwart Neil Wilson, who passed away in June last year.
“I find it strange that the Executive Council would have approved 147 thousand dollars for the procurement procedure that EIDICOTT was supposed to employ. EIDICOTT was at that time run by their godfather Neil Wilson and EIDICOTT took 147 thousand dollars just to go and point and say ‘aye you come build we a zip line’ no procurement procedure at all.”
Augustine said he also found it strange that throughout the entire document there were no signatures by the then Administrator for the Division at the time and it contained instances where contracts related to the project had a number of irregularities.
“Imagine the first contract given out for the project took effect the very same day the Executive Council note was signed so that means that discussions were had even before the Executive Council met.”
The PDP Deputy Political Leader said there were also questionable hotel accommodation bills and other instances of monies paid for items that were never received.
“I also read that we were supposed to receive poles from Guyana for the construction of the zip line and all now the poles can’t reach, as far as I know, Guyana closer than Miami and if the poles were to come from Guyana where the money for the poles gone who take the money for the poles.”
He said under the PDP such occurrences would be a thing of the past as he plans to develop and implement financial rules that would ensure that the finances of the Tobago House of Assembly are managed efficiently with transparency.
Augustine publicly issued a warning to his would-be Secretaries, saying that he does not plan to preside over any instance of corruption even if it means going back to the poles.