“I am told the report will be available shortly,” Imbert said, speaking at a Cabinet media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, Port-of-Spain.
“It is hoped that the Colman Report will be delivered by the end of this month. I have asked the Attorney General specifically to see if we can fast-track and the response I got is that, barring unforeseen circumstances... We have asked that the report be expedited, and that it come in as soon as possible. We would not want him to act in haste. And we have been told by the end of this month.” Al-Rawi, speaking at the same briefing, said the Government has supplied “many things” to Sir Anthony in response to complaints made by him over resources.
“The Office of the Prime Minister is the one that enables a commission of inquiry’s purpose,” the Attorney General said.
“Sir Anthony had made a very stinging criticism against several attorneys, well known to us, engaged by the last administration, that they had failed to do any work and that he fell upon one person only.” Al-Rawi continued, “I can tell you as a matter of fact that Sir Anthony has requested many things of the Government, all of which have been supplied to him and that the position is that the indication is that the report will be ready by the end of this month and that we are all set for that.” Imbert also stated that while Clico’s 2014 accounts, released on Wednesday afternoon, indicated a $5 billion profit, this was largely due to the disposal of shares in Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Ltd. He said Clico still remained insolvent to the tune of $934 million.
“That essentially was a paper transaction,” Imbert said. “The $5 billion so-called profit was really bringing to book the proceeds of the sale of the shares in the methanol company. And it’s just an accounting transaction. It does not assist Colonial Life.” He said the deficit at 2014 was $934 million.
“Although they had a profit, that also had a loss of income of $4.7 billion. So that in 2013 the balance sheet deficit of Colonial Life was $1.1 billion and in 2014, $934 million in deficit,” the Acting PM/Minister of Finance said. “So there was no significant change. It is just an accounting transaction. Based on all the information available to me, Colonial Life is still insolvent because its liabilities exceed its assets.” As Minister in the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Stuart Young looked on, Imbert announced the engagement of Ernst and Young in relation to his efforts to unravel the quantum of money spent on the State’s bailout.
He noted that firm had done work in relation to the CL Financial collapse for the State before