Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CDA Board Members say 'It wasn't us!'

On the off chance that you (like me) have been closely following the developments of the alleged leaking of a reporter's phone records to the Chaguaramas Development Authority:

When we last left this story, TSTT had quickly declared its intention to investigate the report and the Media Association of T&T had swiftly lamented the attack on the anonymity of whistleblowers (not to mention the invasion of the reporter's privacy).

Today, we learned that two statements had also emerged from the CDA: one from the Authority and the other from seven out of its nine board members.
The CDA's statement (which currently appears on the front page of its website) denies that it requested phone records for a reporter, insisting instead that it asked TSTT for its own phone records after confidential information was leaked to the media.

Fair enough, if true. After all, they're entitled to their own phone records and it's a silly whistleblower who outs his company on the company line, right?

The only problem is that the board members - well, seven of them anyway - issued a separate statement saying:
“We seven board members of the CDA categorically state that at no time have we ever direct (sic), discuss or authorise anyone at the CDA to access any data and or records of any phone, whether personal, company or otherwise. “We also categorically state that we at no time, individually or collectively, attempted to access information from TSTT or any of its staff members for information (sic) with reference to determining the source of newspaper articles.”
So... someone in the CDA requested their own phone records in order to discover who was leaking info, but it wasn't Rocky Garcia, Brian Awai, Richard Grainger, Wahid Mohammed, Rawlins Amar, Varun Debideen or Vyas Ramphalie. That just leaves the other two board members: chairman Danny Solomon and chairman of human resources Christopher Street, who is also vice president of the NUGFW.

Meanwhile, Planning Minister Dr. Bhoe Tewarie is moving to disband the Chaguaramas Development Board, telling the media today that he is taking a note to Cabinet because the board is fractious and contentious with little understanding of the role required of them. He also called for an independent investigation of the reported leak because someone might be lying.

Gee, ya think?


  1. Why would a company even embark upon such an investigation if there is nothing untoward about their internal operations? What is there to hide or that might deem clandestine?

    Why retain the Chair who obviously lacked the competence to lead and motivate the Board members? The facade of "good corporate governance" cannot last forever. Good corporate governance entails training and education of the Board, facilitation by the Chairman for airing of issues and up to date signed and ratified Board Minutes. The lack signed of Board Minutes since the sacking of the previous CEO, which is over a year and a half ago, yet only 7 Board Meetings indicate good governance is lacking.

    This unethical and disruptive behavior displayed by Board Members of State Agencies is like a cancer in our society.

    1. Many good questions there. Clearly things are amiss at the CDA, which is why Planning Minister Bhoe Tewarie is looking to sack the entire board.

      And yes, the corruption and lack of ethics displayed by those at the top of society is poisoning the entire country.

      This fish is rotting from its head.

  2. A month has passed by and no response to the public on this matter. Where is the accountability in good governance? This is almost like propaganda being dealt out by supposedly professional gurus, who were once respected in this country. Bhoe Tewarie has proven himself to be a politician and not a professional. Sad days for our country. The entire country seems to be rotting and stinking from the head! I was perusing the Ministry of Finance website for some information and I was so impressed with the new website but then I asked myself why are we spending so much money to give everything a face life and no real deliverable? Was it critical to the success of the country or for PR purposes?

    1. That's the major problem with this government in particular; everything is a facade. Everything.

      I don't mean to imply that the previous government was any better, but I find it particularly pervasive in this administration's operations. So little substance and so much flam.

      And yes, the obvious corruption is poisoning our society.