|File: Dr Bhoe Tewarie|
"I am taking a note to Cabinet for a change of board, and it’s up to Cabinet to decide. I think there has been a fair amount of misinformation on some of the issues relating to CDA. When the board is changed, I would be happy to speak to the media about the issues," Tewarie said.
The comments were in response to reports that the telephone records of a Sunday Guardian reporter had been leaked to the CDA. On Monday, the CDA stated that it never tried to get the reporter’s phone records. However it said it would check to see if any staff had been talking to the media.
Tewarie also pointed out to reporters that there has been "inaccurate reporting" on the matter. He said he contacted the Guardian's Editor-in-Chief, Judy Raymond, and "asked her specifically if she would arrange for an independent reporter to interview the chairman of the CDA board and the CEO of the CDA so they can give their point of view.”
He said both officials are willing to give their side of the story. Tewarie also clarified his reference to an "independent" reporter, explaining that he means "someone who is not now involved in any of the controversial articles."
Tewarie stated that he "inherited" the board when he took over responsibility for the CDA and explained that members have not been working as a team. "The board has been too fractious, it has been too contentious" he said, adding that it does not seem to be "receptive to reasonable discourse and reasonable persuasion."
He said, "If you cannot get the board to agree to make decisions, then you have a problem. You’ve got to address it." Tewarie promised to "engage fully with the media if and when Cabinet changes the board."
The minister acknowledged that he does not have all the facts. However he said the CDA chairman has assured him that "there was no request to TSTT for the phone records".
Tewarie also made the point that he believes in media freedom but qualified the statement witjh the word "responsible". He stated, "I also believe the reporter—any reporter—has a right to conduct investigative journalism...it is possible for the press to make a mistake, even in doing its job.”