Minority Leader: THA secretaries ducking questions

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Kelvon Morris –

THA Minority Leader and electoral representative for Darryl Spring/Whim Kelvon Morris is calling for his questions submitted to secretaries through the THA Assembly Legislature to be answered.

At a media conference at his office in Scarborough on Monday, Morris said, “Secretaries are now refusing either by making themselves absent or deferring questions to ensure that they do not account to you, the people of Tobago.

“These questions that are filed are questions that emanate from information from whistleblowers and therefore we, as the minority, ask these questions on behalf of the whistleblower and on behalf of you, the people of Tobago, so that you can be aware…what is happening with the governance and the administration of your affairs.”

He said it is being realised that the words and actions of the administration do not match. He recalled THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine’s promise during his victory speech on winning the THA elections that all his team would be “far more transparent and accountable.”

He said however, what is happening, and what is clear to him, “is that the current administration has no intention to answer the important questions, they have no intention to be truthful with the people of Tobago, they have no intention to be honest, they have no intention to be transparent and they have no intention to be accountable.”

He said as a result, he was prepared to name and shame those who refused to answer the questions.

“Chief culprit number one is a secretary by the name of assemblyman Trevor James, and as you know, Mr Trevor James is the appointed Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development.

Trevor James –

“We have a question on the order paper now going for six months – six months on the order paper! – and this question is a very simple question….With regard to the Studley Park Enterprise Ltd board, can the secretary provide the following information: the positions on the board and a breakdown of the salaries for each member?

“Mr James, you would have seen, asked for a deferral in September.”

He said to date, the question remains unanswered.

He said the presiding officer agreed to defer to October as James said he would provide the answer then, but instead asked for a further deferral.

“Then you would see in November, when it was time for questions to secretaries, absolutely none of the secretaries who were supposed to answer questions showed up. We even had a secretary that didn’t even provide an excuse as to why they weren’t in the sitting, and that secretary eventually showed up for the debate. So she didn’t see answering the questions as important but yet she came for the debate.

“So it is a clear ploy of this administration not to answer the questions.”

He added: “So what is it in these questions that they just don’t want to answer? That is what we have to ask ourselves at this time, why they do not want to answer these questions – and that should be of concern to all of us.”