Trinidad PM says she will run a corruption-free government


by Caribbean News Now Staff

LONDON, England — Trinidad and Tobago prime minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar, told Trinidadians living in the United Kingdom that she intends to run a corruption-free government

The Trinidad Express reported that the prime minister, who arrived in London on Monday afternoon, said, "I intend to lead a government that will build a country that places the highest value and integrity in public life through accountability and transparency."

Trinidad and Tobago prime minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar

She reiterated she will not permit wrongdoing in her administration and spoke of plans for procurement legislation.

Her comments came days after she ordered to halt to an $83 million contract awarded to two companies, Harry Persad and Sons Ltd and United Engineering Services Ltd, for the upgrade of runway lighting at Piarco and Crown Point International airports respectively. United had initially been selected as the number one choice following the tendering process, but works and transport minister, Jack Warner, subsequently split the contract between the two companies.

Keith Rowley, opposition leader, said on Monday that Warner acted outside of the law when he ordered the Airport Authority of Trinidad and Tobago to sign the two contracts since there is no board in place.

On Monday, Persad Bissessar told of the planned establishment of a Performance Management Unit "which will enable me as prime minister to review on a timely basis the efficiency and effectiveness of projects of the different ministries."

She said, "This will drive my goal of establishing a performance-driven, people centred philosophy of governance."

The prime minister added, "This will ensure that the values of transparency and accountability in the conduct of public affairs will be achieved."

She added that she will act decisively to root out corruption at all levels.

In a wide ranging address to hundreds of people at a town hall in Chelsea, Persad Bissessar said the new Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs has a mandate to reduce crime.

The prime minister will be in the United Kingdom for a few days, during which time she has a series of meetings with government officials and business organisations.



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