Friday, January 18, 2013

TOP asks for Integrity probe into THA advertising blitz

The Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) has written to the Integrity Commission asking for an investigation of the expenditure by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) on media advertising over the past few weeks. 

In a letter dated January 17, attorney Joseph George wrote to Integrity Commission chairman Kenneth Gordon on behalf of the TOP about the matter in which he suggested that the THA is making illegal use of state funds. 

The letter stated: "My client has instructed me that within the recent weeks leading up to the election, which is carded for January 21, 2013, there has been an unprecedented proliferation of public advertisements, both in the print and electronic media, by the THA, which seeks to extol the achievements of the THA and, in particular, the stewardship of Mr Orville London, who is a candidate in the election...

"Whereas my client understands and fully appreciates that the THA must be awarded some degree of latitude to engage in its public relations and propaganda, my client is nevertheless shocked, alarmed and dismayed that the massive and unprecedented advertising campaign bears such close confluence to the said election."

George said TOP believes the advertising blitz is "a flagrant abuse of power and is nothing short of a naked attempt by the THA as currently constituted to seek to influence the outcome of the elections by the use of the resources of the THA".

The letter added, "It is our respectful view that a purposive construction of the (Integrity in Public Life) Act will demand that the actions of the THA to favour the PNM by the massive and unprecedented proliferation of advertisements is clearly within the contemplation of this prohibited conduct.

"In the circumstances, I hereby, on behalf of the TOP, formally lodge a complaint to your commission, asking that commission to fully investigate all the facts and circumstances surrounding the decision to engage in this massive and unprecedented advertising campaign."

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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