Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When the Transparent become opaque…

It is clear for all to see that there is a great deal more below the surface in this ongoing UDeCOTT/ Uff Commission of Enquiry (CoE) than has come out in the press. On one side there is UDeCOTT and its embattled chairman Calder Hart, and on the other side is the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) backed by Emile Elias and his company NH International (NH).

Mr. Elias and NH have been locked in various disputes in Court and Arbitration with UDeCOTT, all of which NH has lost. But Mr. Elias appears to have an unlikely ally on his side, the Trinidad Chapter of Transparency International which is currently headed by Mr. Victor Hart, who is the head of a well known firm of Quantity Surveyors, Hart & Leonard. Hart (Victor) has been very critical of Hart (Calder) and UDeCOTT but has been strangely silent in criticizing either NH or Emile Elias. And there is much to be concerned about in that the Commission of Enquiry into the Scarborough General Hospital recommended that NH be investigated for a possible breach of the Larceny Act in removing materials from the Hospital site without the knowledge or permission of the engineer and in breach of its contract with NIPDEC (headed by Hart/Calder).

This, coupled with the fact that Hart (Victor) is on record as trying to defend NH’s unauthorized removal of the materials and his seeming reluctance to question why the police have refused to investigate the matter, led me to write to Transparency International to find out for myself whether that organization holds its own people to the same standards that it seeks to hold everybody else. If it does, well, there should be a serious shake-up in the Trinidad Chapter. If it doesn’t…well, it’s a “work in progress”.

As you can see Transparency International Headquarters in Germany are taking the concerns I raised quite seriously. I’ll will keep you all updated as things develop on the TI front.

Below, you can find my complete submission to TI Headquarters in Berlin, Germany and their response.

My Letter

Ms. Zoe Reiter “Program Coordinator Americas Department Transparency International” letter

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