With 12 days to go before the January 25 Tobago House of Assembly elections, the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) candidate for Lambeau/Signal Hill Tracy Davidson-Celestine took to the podium to knock the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) over its request for her to address the findings in the Auditor General’s 2016 report.
The PDP highlighted areas of the report during a political meeting at Garden Side car park, Scarborough on Sunday.
The report said in 2015, the THA paid a Tortola company to design, develop and construct a High Angle canopy Tour project during Davidson- Celestine’s tenure as the Tobago House of Assembly’s Tourism Secretary.
Speaking at Buccoo Multipurpose Facility on Monday night, Davidson-Celestine said the PDP’s revelations are an act of “desperation.”
She said the PNM delivers what it promises.
“Regardless of what is said about those on the other side, the Peoples National Movement has delivered. They (PDP) want to tell you the public that at this point in time that we the Peoples National Movement is corrupt but, I give you the assurance that there has been no corruption in this administration…We have done all to ensure that the monies are managed in a particular way,” Davidson-Celestine said.
Earlier on Monday, via a press release headed “ PDP should zipline their lip,” the PNM council said,” the zipline project is still in the works.”
The auditor general’s report indicates that although the THA paid over $2.5 million for the 2015 project in the Main Ridge forest, the Executive Council note that approved the deal was not sent as part of the audit.
The Government’s accounting department said a search for evidence supporting the payment found “only some ropes on hand” at the Tourism Division’s stores.
PNM candidate for Mt St George/Bacolet Joel Jack, who also addressed the report, said the THA’s Chief Administrator is ultimately responsible for the THA’s accounts.
Jack read a letter from the chief administrator to the Chief Secretary.
“As Chief Administrator and accounting officer to the Tobago House of Assembly…I take full responsibility for ensuring that the matters raised in the auditor general’s report are being or have been addressed.”
Jack said the chief administrator indicated the auditor general’s report did not point to malfeasance by any THA official.