House sits for mid-year review in June

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Red House on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain. – File photo

THE House of Representatives is expected to sit on June 7 for the Mid-Year Review of the 2023/2024 budget.

When the House last sat on May 24, Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis announced its next sitting would be June 7.

While no official agenda has been published for the June 7 sitting, sources informed Newsday that the Mid-Year review should take place then.

On May 24, in addition to announcing the next day the House sits will be June 7, Robinson-Regis also announced that the House’s Standing Finance Committee will meet at the Red House on June 3 from 1.30 pm.

Before this sitting, the Parliament’s Land and Physical Infrastructure Joint Select Committee (JSC) will continue its public inquiry into the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension project when it sits at the Red House, Port of Spain on June 6.

The committee last met on this matter on March 20 and April 24.

In a statement in the House of Representatives on last November, the Prime Minister said the public needed answers about what happened with that project under the UNC-led People’s Partnership (PP) coalition government from May 24, 2010-September 7, 2015.

“The public, through its representatives in this House, must seek and obtain answers from all persons involved in or associated with this scandal.

“This is even more necessary since, in recent times, attempts have been made to give opportunity to person/s to put misinformation on the parliamentary record,” Rowley said.

He then listed some burning questions:

“By what process, advice and documentation was it determined that the billion-dollar contract must be amended to grant an $852 million waiver to (Construtora) OAS (the Brazilian company that was the project’s contractor)?”

“Who authorised the amendment of the contract?”

“What was the specific purpose and benefit to be had, and by whom?”

“Who actually carried out the instructions?”

“What was the role of the Ministry of Works and Transport, the board of Nidco (National Infrastructure Development Company), the consultant and the management in effecting the amendment and its consequent waiver?”

The UNC members on this JSC, Princes Town MP Barry Padarath and Opposition Senator Anil Roberts, are boycotting meetings of the committee on this matter in accordance with a decision by the party taken last November.