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Friday 15 December 2017
News

Dumas: Sinanan, Port board must resign over ferry fiasco

FORMER head of the Public Service Reginald Dumas says an investigation is crucial to finding out details of the procurement of the seabridge ferries, the Cabo Star and the Ocean Flower II and how an agreement was entered into for these vessels.

He disagrees, however, that a sole investigator is the way to go, maintaining that probes by the Integrity Commission and a hearing by a Joint Select Committee of Parliament are satisfactory mechanisms.

Dumas, in telephone interview with Newsday, also called for Works Minister Rohan Sinanan and members of the Port Authority’s board to resign as a result of the fiasco over the ferries.

“What is the role of the minister, because he has been running his mouth,” Dumas said. “When something goes right he takes credit, otherwise he points to the board. The point is that the whole thing has been messed up and not only should there be an investigation, as far as I am concerned, the board and the minister should resign.”

Elaborating on the need for an investigation, Dumas said, “We have to investigate to find out what really happened. Who is Bridgeman’s ? Did the Port do a due diligence exercise and if they did, what kind of exercise? How is it that we signed a contract for a boat without having seen the boat?

“I never expected this kind of mess in 2017. After all, it is not the first time we have leased vessels. How did this come around?

Then we are hearing that this contract, signed before we saw the vessel, was terminated because the people didn’t keep to the timelines. At the same time, we are hearing that because of a leak of a document - a report done by the Port engineer - that compromised the whole process. What really is going on?”

On the issue of a sole investigator, Dumas said he was “opposed to sole investigators.”

“Mr Watson Duke (Tobago House of Assembly Minority Leader) had recommended me for the position as well, but I declined because it really isn’t about the position.

“I have nothing against Mr (Christian) Mouttet…I am not concerned about personalities. Just as I would say that there should not be a sole investigator, if it is not Mr Mouttet, then it should not be Reginald Dumas either.”

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