PM to appear before JSC to answer questions on ferry procurement fiasco

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 05:30

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has given the assurance that he will have no problem appearing before the Joint Select Committee currently looking into the procurement of the Ocean Flower 2 and Cabo Star vessel for the sea bridge.

Yesterday, JSC member Wade Mark called for an invitation to be sent to Rowley so he can have a say in the issues before them (the JSC).

During the sitting, Mark said for Rowley to have said that the procurement of the Ocean Flower 2 was not above board and may have been a crooked deal suggests he may have critical information. He then suggested JSC chairman Stephen Creese invite the PM to appear.

Contacted last night, Rowley said from day one when the parliamentary committee agreed to look into the matter he (Rowley) had made it clear that the Government will cooperate fully with the inquiry under the parliament.

He added that his position still stands.

"So now that the chairman or Mr. Wade Mark has made a request and the chairman acquiesced, I have no other position but to maintain the one that I had from the beginning, that the Government will cooperate fully with the inquiry," Rowley told Guardian Media.

"If I am invited to the inquiry I will cooperate fully. So now that it appears that the chairman indicated that he will try to have me appear before the commission, I can simply say I will cooperate fully with the inquiry."

Rowley said if any member of the House feels that his presence can help the committee, it is up to them to make that request and for them to justify it. He added that he looks forward to attending.

On August 21, Rowley, during a media conference after a meeting with stakeholders in Tobago, answered “Yes…my yes means a lot to me,” when asked if he was convinced something had gone drastically wrong and crooked in the Ocean Flower 2 transaction.

Yesterday, the question of who Bridgemans Services Group (BSG) made first contact to was posed to Port Authority board chairman Alison Lewis. She revealed that two letters were sent out by BSG, the first to the Ministry of Works and Transport and then another, “simultaneously sent to the Port Authority’s secretary.”

SOURCE: (Rhondor Dowlat & Khamal Georges)