Neither Cabinet nor Energy and Energy Affairs Minister Franklin Khan will give any directive to Petrotrin’s board to suspend the contract of A&V Oil and Gas company that may derail the process Petrotrin has in place to deal with its issues, says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
Answering questions in the House of Representatives yesterday on the overpayment to A&V for oil produced and whether Government will suspend the company’s contract for the “fake oil” production, Rowley said the board of Petrotrin was dealing with the matter “under serious legal advice and is pursuing investigations with both internal and external audits.”
The Prime Minister or Cabinet, he said, had no authority to enter into any contract for Petrotrin, and contracts at Petrotrin were matters for the board.
“If you want to ask my view on the matter, that is a different story. But don’t ask me to fire anybody at Petrotrin. I have no locus standi there, nor does the Cabinet. If the Cabinet jumps into that matter prematurely, you would be the first one to accuse the Cabinet of misconduct,” he said.
Asked for his views, he said they would be guided by the information and the views coming out of Petrotrin by way of its position, inquiries, advisers and actions.
The board appointed by the current administration with a mandate to treat with all aspects of corruption at Petrotrin, he said, has found the A&V matter and was dealing with it.
“Petrotrin is investigating this business in the best possible way, under sound legal advice. What are you investigating?” he asked rhetorically.
He noticed, he said, that the Opposition was interested in the issue, possibly for an outcome that was damaging to somebody.
“I get the feeling that the Opposition is disappointed that the matter is being handled properly,” he said.
He added that when there was an audit at the National Gas Company under the previous administration, the auditors were fired and no one ever “heard a thing about it. Now they want Government to jump into a process.
“We are not doing that. We will await the process so when action is taken, it could be defended in a court of law if it is challenged.”