In the previous article, I dismantled the false narrative as to the satisfactory ‘Underlying Commercial Arrangements‘ for our State-owned hotels. To do so, I used the official records of the Parliament and its Joint Select Committees. Those records actually tell this sorry story, but it is possible to rely upon the sheer mass of material to effectively mask reality.
The defenders of these rotten arrangements are unable to rebut the official record, so some have now taken to claiming that the accounts do exist and that I should admit my errors. Well I tell you.
In between the political loyalists who have a unique way with facts and the very shortage of those facts, one needs to establish certain cardinal points if we are to make sense of all this Carefully Crafted Confusion.
So here are my cardinal points to understand this puzzle –
- Capital Expenditure is all ours – every cent is our Public Money;
- Repairs and Maintenance – Ditto;
- Returns to Private Sector – These are obviously at or above target rates, since both Hilton and Hyatt have persisted in their POS operations. If the returns were below target, those operators would have exited, which is what Hilton International did in Tobago in 2008;
- Returns to Public Sector – Unknown – since there is no commitment to accountability or transparency, despite the periodic claims to the contrary from various high-ranking officials;
- Private Sector Audited Accounts – We can be sure that those exist at the Private Sector level and are made available in a timely manner to the shareholders and stakeholders of those companies. No Chief in that arena could survive a failure to produce audited accounts in the required manner – that would be grounds for instant dismissal, for cause and without compensation. Of course there is no way a Private Sector Chief could ever refuse to provide those records to its shareholders and stakeholders;
- Public Sector Audited Accounts – These are never available, for whatever reason. The Public Sector Chiefs routinely fail to produce these records and even when formal requests are made via the Freedom of Information Act, those are refused. No Chief in that Public Sector arena has ever been removed or disciplined for their flagrant failure/refusal to account;
Continue reading “Property Matters – Checking-out State-owned hotels”
The concerted attempts to sell the Tobago Sandals project were driven by high-level Public Officials who repeatedly assured the public that the existing arrangements for the three State-owned hotels were working satisfactorily. So much so that we should be pleased that the existing arrangements were to be adopted for the new project. The two main promoters were PM, Dr Keith Rowley and the Minister in the Office of the PM, Stuart Young.
Of course, we now know, due to the unplanned publication of that Tobago Sandals MoU, what were the terms and conditions on which the State intended to engage that project. No other hotelier had ever had a deal like that.
But there is a deeper series of official conversations on these existing State-owned hotels which need to be spotlighted so that a better view can be had as to ‘Who is Who and What is What’.
I am relying on the official records in this one, with my sparing commentary shown below – Continue reading “Property Matters – Hotel Reservations”
In which a Flying Pig births a White Elephant…
If that phrasing sounds over-imaginative and gross, just consider these proposals for Tobago Sandals…
The previous article stated the bare facts about this large-scale development and placed those for consideration. The response, online and elsewhere, was such that I am now going to set out the main arguments being used by the promoters of this project and place those for consideration.
What is ultimately at stake here is the right of our Public Officials to negotiate these large-scale projects, in secret and on our behalf. The promoters of this project are claiming that intangible but substantial element, the Benefit of the Doubt. This article will examine the merit of those claims for the Benefit of the Doubt. Continue reading “Property Matters – the Benefit of the Doubt for Tobago Sandals?”
This is the second in the Bussin’ Files series held at The Big Black Box on Wednesday 15th November 2017. In this episode we deal with the Hotel Facts research and its implications for the Sandals Tobago proposal.
I would like to thank The Big Black Box team for their support, without which we would have been unable to convene this seminar. I am especially thankful to Wendell Manwarren for being our host and MC. Video courtesy PixelPlay Media.
This is our Hotel Facts Seminar held at The UWI’s Noor Hassanali Auditorium on Thursday 9th November 2017 featuring Afra Raymond, David Walker and Rishi Maharaj of Disclosure Today.
We would like to thank Professor Rose-Marie Belle-Antoine, Dean of the Law Faculty, for her support, without which we would have been unable to convene this seminar. We also thank Rhoda Bharath of #newsauce and The Eternal Pantomime for being our MC/Moderator at such short notice. Video courtesy PixelPlay Media.
I have written extensively on the surfeit of maladies plaguing our governance. Now, I will be joining some of my most esteemed colleagues in a discussion around the Hotel Facts that are in desperate need of uncovering.
We have undertaken the monumental task of becoming archeologists for truth, and we are honoured to host a public discussion to put our artifacts on display.
We welcome everyone who shares a vested interest in truth discovery to join us at our Hotel Facts Seminar on Thursday at 6:00 PM in the Noor Hassanali Auditorium, The UWI, St Augustine. (The Noor Hassanali Auditorium is housed on the same site as the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES, see map below), on the western side of the main Campus of the UWI, St Augustine, adjacent to, and north of, the Institute of International Relations.)
Rishi Maharaj CEO of Disclosure Today
Moderator – Rhoda Bharath of The UWI’s Dept. of Modern Languages and Linguistics
Date: Thursday, 9 November, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The critical facts on the existing proposals for new State-owned hotels in T&T – recorded on Saturday 1st October 2016.
Programme Date: 12 January 2017
Programme Length: 08:29