Property Matters – THA BOLT Appeal

This article examines the recent Court of Appeal ruling that the THA did not have the power to enter certain PPPs as had been done in the MILSHIRV project.

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In November 2011, the THA entered a Public Private Partnership with the Rahael Holdings group for MILSHIRV, a new office building at the corner of Claude Noel Highway and Shirvan Road in western Tobago.  I was heavily critical of that project as it was clear to me that the basic principles of needs assessment had been violated, as detailed later in this article. Continue reading “Property Matters – THA BOLT Appeal”

VIDEO: The Morning Brew interview re Sandals pull out – 16 January 2019

CNC3 LogoAfra Raymond was interviewed on The Morning Brew on CNC3 Television regarding the pull out of the Sandals Group from the proposed deal to manage a new Sandals and Beaches resort in Tobago. The publication of the details of the memorandum of understanding is questioned as a catalyst for the pull out decision. Video courtesy CNC3 Television

Programme Date: 16 January 2019
Programme Length: 00:12:58

Finding the Ferry Facts

Finding the Ferry Facts

The Tobago Ferry issue has gone from bad to worse, with at least four inquiries underway. There are now inquiries being done by:

  1. the Integrity Commission;
  2. PWC, on behalf of the Port Authority Board;
  3. Christian Mouttet and of course,
  4. the ongoing live spectacle at the Joint Select Committee (JSC) of Parliament on Land & Physical Infrastructure.

Continue reading “Finding the Ferry Facts”

VIDEO: Afra Raymond at Tobago Benchmark Symposium on 18 Aug 2016

tobago-benchmark-flyerTobago Benchmark hosted a symposium on the “Impact of Sandals Resort on Tobago and No Man’s Land” on Thursday 18th August 2016 at the Buccoo Community Center. Afra Raymond was one of the guest speakers, focusing his talk on the “underlying commercial arrangements” which no one likes to talk about. Examples throughout the Caribbean are seemingly secret, but there are examples from Trinidad and Tobago that can set a context for what is important as opposed to what is merely interesting. Video courtesy Tobago Benchmark.

Read the post on “Property Matter – Sandals Tobago?” for more context.

Property Matters – Sandals Tobago?

No Man's Land, Tobago is a potential site for Sandals Resort in Tobago
No Man’s Land, Tobago is a potential site for Sandals Resort in Tobago

The recent official statements about a proposal for a Sandals Resort in Tobago are significant, given both the convulsions in the Tourism portfolio and the urgent need to diversify our economy away from its long-term dependence on energy earnings. This is a preliminary view of some of the relevant considerations, since the sparse details now available do not permit a critique.

The various official statements outline that Sandals are in discussions with the State towards a new 750-room resort to be located in Tobago, which would both increase the overall room stock and bring collateral benefits if it proceeds.

Some of the main considerations are – Continue reading “Property Matters – Sandals Tobago?”

Board Games

demming xed out
Dennise Demming (left) was “removed and replaced” as the chair of the Tourism Development Company by Corporation Sole. Standing with Demming are Tourism minister, the Hon. Shamfa Cudjoe MP and TDC director Tonya Laing. Photo courtesy Trinidad Express.

The recent controversy over the dismissal of Dennise Demming as Chair of the Tourism Development Company (TDC) has sparked yet another round of debate on the role and operation of State-owned-Enterprises (SoEs).

Some of the issues which have arisen are –

  • What is the purpose of these SoEs?
  • How do the Boards of these SoEs get appointed?
  • Are Board Directors of SoEs required to follow directions from the line Minister?
  • Do Board Directors of SoEs have the right to get involved in managerial decisions such as hiring of staff and awarding of contracts?
  • Do Ministers and Permanent Secretaries have the right to meet with or direct staff of the SoEs without the input of the Board of Directors?
  • Given the recent Appeal Court decision in the eTeck case, what is the legal liability of Board Directors of SoEs?

Continue reading “Board Games”