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Friday 23 March 2018

Devant disappointed with Young’s Sandals response

FORMER minister Devant Maharaj yesterday expressed disappointment at comments made by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young about his complaint to the Integrity Commission about the alleged procurement of the management services of Sandals Resort by the Government.

In a statement, Maharaj asked what made his complaint unpatriotic and “even traitor-like.” Asking whether citizens were not allowed to question the actions of the Government or use constitutional provisions to investigate national issues, Maharaj claimed Young’s reaction “is deeply disturbing for the freedom of expression in our democratic society.” Maharaj agreed with Young about the proposal for the construction of a Sandals Resort in Tobago being at the initial stage and no decision being taken on the project. However, Maharaj claimed Young did not indicate how Sandals was selected in the first place.

He asked if this process differed from one taken by the Urban Development Corporation of TT when it employed a transparent and public request for proposal for a Port of Spain hotel.

This hotel is being proposed for the site of the former agriculture ministry in St Clair.

Maharaj said while Young said Government had publicly committed from the onset to provide full details about this project, “The public is still awaiting these details.” He reiterated that all his complaint did was ask for an investigation into how Sandals was selected, “as it appeared to be hand-picked by the administration without any procurement processes.”


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