ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi says it has cost taxpayers an estimated half a billion dollars for the Commission of Enquiry into the failure of CL Financial Ltd, Colonial Life Insurance, Clico Investment Bank and the Hindu Credit Union.
He was responding to a question in the House yesterday.
He reported from October 1, 2016: the cost of outstanding professional fees for foreign and local counsel was $52,505.20; the cost of professional services for foreign counsel was $82,135,966.26; and the cost of monthly rental and call charges from TSTT was $8,450.65. Therefore, he said, the total combined costs of provision of services as at February 20, 2019 was $82,196,922.11.
Al-Rawi said that figure was on top of the $109,338,997.54 previous costs reported in the paper entitled Breakdown of Expenses in December 2016.
Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal asked if there was a deadline when the matter would come to an end. Al-Rawi said that could only be answered by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and it lay squarely in his domain.
He said the over $200 million legal and accounting costs, stood on top other costs including litigation at the Central Bank and other ancillary pieces of litigation which would take the figure to several hundreds of millions more.
“So this entire bill, I dare say, has crossed close to half a billion dollars. And that’s just a conservative estimate.”
He added: “I understand from the DPP that he is close to completion of his matters. We, of course, don’t ask questions that we are not allowed to ask as the executive arm, particularly at the Office of the Attorney General. We trust that the DPP is in charge of what he is doing and we expect that he will do what he must with alacrity.” The enquiry began in November 2010 when Sir Anthony Colman QC, was appointed the sole Commissioner. Colman delivered his first report which was on HCU on July 16, 2014 and his second report which was on CL Financial/Clico to then President Anthony Carmona on June 22, 2016.