Saturday, November 17, 2012

No secret deals with BAE; AG Ramlogan corrects the Guardian - again

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has again corrected an erroneous story in a daily newspaper.

On Friday he told Parliament there's no secret deal with the Government and UK-based BAE Systems to buy second-hand boats as reported in the Trinidad Guardian.

He said the Government of Colombia is assiating the People's Partnership to acquire a new fleet of patrol vessels.

"A team from the Ministry of National Security is actively collaborating with a friendly neighbour (Colombia) to undertake a site visit to view naval assets consistent with an established RFP.

"It is expected that the outcome of this visit will better position the Ministry of National Security to forge ahead in the acquisition of additional assets in support of the Maritime Wall initiative," Ramlogan said.
"There is no secret deal and no hidden agenda behind this settlement. The Government insisted on its contractual rights, BAE engaged us in arbitration and before the award could be handed down by court. 

"BAE agreed that rather than wait for that decision, they were prepared to pay us the sum of TT$1.382 billion to settle this matter," the AG said.

"There is no tack-back, no hidden costs coming around the corner! I have stated the amount of the settlement and I have stated the costs of the project. This is a victory for the people of Trinidad and Tobago of which we should be justifiably proud," he said.

With respect to security, the AG explained that the Government has a maritime security plan, which Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar outlined in June 2011.

It includes the establishment of a Maritime Wall to address the immediate needs for securing the country's borders.

"Coupled with the Coastal Surveillance capabilities, air support and Electronic surveillance, this Wall would provide a firm and robust approach to ensuring the territorial waters and borders are secured.

"The Maritime Wall would involve the establishment of strategically located bases around T&T, manned by the Multi Agency Maritime Task Force (comprising officers from the Coast Guard, the Police Service and Customs).

"The CCTV initiative would ensure that key areas of the country would be fully covered by year's end 2012. By the end of the next year the entire country would be under CCTV surveillance.

"This monitoring and surveillance would be integrated with a response capability from within all Divisions, restoring a sense of hope and security in the citizenry.

"There is also a plan to obtain scanners for our ports from the United States of America," said Ramlogan.

"Our new border protection naval operational plan will involve 12 Coast Guard installations strategically placed around the island, with fast patrol interceptors assigned specifically to each installation, and this will ensure that the country will now be properly secured, which could not have been done by one OPV simply patrolling 100 miles off our East Coast, as this is not where the majority of drug and weapon smuggling is taking place.

"What the PP Government would provide would be a virtual impenetrable three-prong defensive naval operational plan to safeguard our country," he said. 

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai