Tag Archives: Political Corruption

Afra Raymond on the Invader’s Bay scandal and High Court ruling

afra raymond CMMB

“The entire process possesses all the ingredients for corruption, I maintain that view.”

Our friend Afra Raymond remains a solid asset to disgusted Trinis and the rest of the Caribbean in the fight against corruption by public officials. Trinidad’s Invader’s Bay scandal is representative of the types of corruption that unfortunately permeates the Caribbean, and Afra has been right on top of the story from the first moment. It is probably accurate to say that Afra’s detailed reporting on the story has the government vexed, and influences the government response and strategies.

Power of the press belongs to those who have one – and Afra has one.

Head over to Afra Raymond’s blog for the latest stories about corruption in Trinidad and Tobago.

Afra Raymond: Reality Check

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Filed under Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

TSTT Inquiry

BFP:

Trinidad’s Joint Select Committee of Parliament is pretending to hold a major inquiry into the administration and operations of the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago – TSTT.

We say ‘pretending’ to hold a major inquiry because the committee did what they could to limit the debate, disenfranchise citizens and make sure that informed persons are unable to present a proper submission.

Our friend Afra Raymond is a thorn in the foot of corrupt Caribbean politicians and business people – and he met the committee’s unrealistic ten-day deadline for submissions.

Here’s the latest from Afra…

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

The Trinidad & Tobago Parliament is now conducting an Inquiry into TSTT and this article is an edited version of my submission to that Inquiry.

The Joint Select Committee’s (JSC) ‘Invitation for Written Submissions‘ was published on the TT Parliament website on Wednesday 23 April 2014, with the deadline for submissions set at 4:00 pm on Friday 2 May 2014. Only ten (10) days.

When one considers the far-reaching scope of the Inquiry as specified in its ten (10) objectives; the size and role of TSTT and the recent published reports as to the proposals for the State to relinquish a critical 2% of its share in TSTT, it is clear that these matters are of the utmost, long-term public importance. Placed in that context, the JSC decision to Inquire into these matters is commendable, but the time-frame is so short as to raise serious doubts as to…

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Trinidad Joint Select Committee of Parliament pulls a dirty trick – provides only 10 days notice for submissions

Afra Raymond

Trinidad anti-corruption activist Afra Raymond

Submitted by BFP reader Yummie Bear

Oh sure… the f**king Trini parliamentarians are pretending to have a major inquiry into the administration and operations of the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago.

What can they do to limit the debate, disenfranchise citizens and make sure that informed persons are unable to present a proper submission to the committee? Easy… give only ten days notice to the deadline for submissions!

F**cking politicians. F**king corrupt b**tards!

Read Afra Raymond’s new column. He doesn’t call ‘em like I do – he’s a lot more polite, but he’d probably like to use the words that I do.

ONE LOVE!

Yummie Bear

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Filed under Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

G2G Policy

BFP:

BFP_Piggy125.jpg

Our old friend Afra Raymond explores the dangers of Government-to-Government arrangements. Once again, those politician piggies at the trough will do anything they can to sideline the tendering process and turn public funds into personal profits.

How many Barbados politicians have foreign bank accounts in Canada, the USA, Switzerland or some private bank somewhere? We don’t know because Barbados has no integrity legislation and no requirement to disclose assets, and no conflict of interest rules.

Take it away, Afra…

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

The current Government to Government (G2G) arrangements are a direct threat to our country’s fundamental interests.

The key element of the G2G arrangement is that a larger, more advanced, country will assist a smaller, less-advanced country by building or operating complex facilities which are beyond the reach of the smaller state.

One of the features the G2G arrangements have in common with the other large-scale projects is the high degree of secrecy with which the proposals are developed.  That secrecy raises doubts as to whether proper Needs Assessments are undertaken and as to the degree to which the views of citizens and stakeholders are sought, far less considered.  The fundamental issue as to the necessity for these projects is thus routinely sidelined, which is inimical to the public interest.

The main criticisms of the G2G arrangements are –

  • Sidelining of the elementary Tendering Process – the procurement process is effectively…

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Afra Raymond on Invader’s Bay: “A large-scale act of intentional illegality…”

“If that is the advice the State is relying upon in advancing their Invader’s Bay proposals, we are seeing a large-scale act of intentional illegality and a worrying return to the ‘bad-old-days‘.”

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

Since my previous article on this controversial proposal, we have seen that certain legal advice reportedly considered by the government has been featured in another newspaper, The Guardian.  If that is the advice the State is relying upon in advancing their Invader’s Bay proposals, we are seeing a large-scale act of intentional illegality and a worrying return to the ‘bad-old-days‘.

My main concerns are -

CONSULTATION?

Compare the lack of consultation at Invader’s Bay with what happens elsewhere.  In particular, the large waterfront lands near the city centre of San Fernando at  King’s Wharf, which has been the subject of ongoing public consultations over the years.  The press reports that various design and redevelopment concepts were presented to and discussed with a widely-based audience.

Whatever the criticisms one might make of the King’s Wharf proposals, it is undeniable that views have been sought from the public/stakeholders and various proposals have been made for consideration.

The JCC and its Kindred Associations in Civil Society met with Ministers Tewarie and Cadiz on 26 September 2011 to express our serious concerns.  Yet, when Minister Tewarie was challenged by the JCC and others as to the complete failure to consult with the public, the only example of consultation he could cite was the very meeting we had insisted on, which took place after publication of the Ministry’s Request for Proposals (RFP) and just about one week before the closing-date for proposals.

This Minister obviously does not consider public consultation to be a serious element in real development, notwithstanding the lyrics about innovation, planning and, of course, Sustainability and the Cultural Sector.  Just consider the way in which East Port-of-Spain is being discussed within that same Ministry.  The prospects for sustainable economic development of East POS must be linked with the Invader’s Bay lands, there is no doubt about that.  What is more, to carry-on as though the two parts of the capital can enjoy prosperity in isolation from each other is to trade in dangerous nonsense.

When criticising the large-scale physical development plans of the last administration, ‘dangerous nonsense’ is exactly what I had accused them of dealing in. Continue reading

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Afra Raymond on More 104.7fm – talks about his lawsuit against the Minister of Finance

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Afra Raymond chats on the show ’Forward Thinkers‘ with David Walker on 104.7FM, dealing with the CL Financial bailout and my lawsuit against the Minister of Finance to get at the detailed information as to how the $24B in Public Money was spent. 24 October 2013. Audio courtesy More 104.7 FM. Listen here.

Programme Date: Thursday 24th October 2013
Programme Length: 0:45:41

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‘Political Terrorism’ is not too strong a phrase…

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Is this debates commission playing power politics with our elections?

by Phillip Edward Alexander

How could the debates commission in all good conscience include the ILP ‘one man party’ and the MSJ ‘not yet a party’ in the electoral debates and exclude the COP which has seats and corporations under its control?

See why I continue to say that the Chamber of Commerce could NEVER be trusted to handle the debates fairly and without attempting to control outcomes through underhanded moves?

This is an outrage of epic proportions. I am incensed and every Trinidadian should be as well.

And I am no supporter of the COP or its leader; but right is right and if you can include David Abdulah’s imitation ‘wanna be party’ you are morally obligated to include this country’s third largest political party or the entire debate would be a sham.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COP Demands Equal Access to Local Government Debates
Calls on Debate Commission to Reverse Outrageous Decision Restricting Access to Key Public Dialogue
Continue reading

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