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T&T Civil Aviation Authority Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

Sen. S. John: They do not sit alone. There are members on these statutory boards.

Sen. Daly: When you say not all, was the majority not subject to tenders rules, or is it that we are picking them off one at a time? Maybe that is why Humphrey got so disgruntled. I do not know. I would like to find out what is the Government’s policy. Is this part of a policy to systematically remove statutory authorities from the provisions of the Central Tenders Board? I mean, surely I could get an answer.

Sen. Mark: With respect to the systematic policy, what I can tell you is that the government is, in fact, contemplating looking at the whole Central Tenders Board Act with a view to giving the same kind of autonomy, as I said, that obtains at the level of the Ministry of National Security, at the level of Government Ministries, and what obtains at statutory boards at the moment. We are trying some time in the future—not at this time—but because of the peculiar nature of this legislation, this provision is being incorporated. The policy is to move towards an arrangement where Government Departments, Agencies, Ministries and Statutory Corporations and so forth that are not covered would have some degree of autonomy in determining, for instance, their tender procedures and rules within broad guidelines.

Sen. Daly: That statement amounts to a creeping abolition of the Central Tenders Board. All we are saying is, would it not be better to determine whether that is a wise move when we are dealing with the Ordinance itself?

Sen. Mark: There are many that are still in existence today, that would be subjected today. As you are aware, all Government Ministries are, in fact, subject to the Central Tenders Board.

Sen. Daly: Mr. Chairman, I think it is an absolutely retrograde step. If there is a problem with how the Central Tenders Board works, fix it! It is a very important check and balance and just to be taking it out with a snap of the fingers like that, I think that is a difficulty.

Sen. Mark: Mr. Chairman, in one or two statutory corporations and authorities, there is already provision in their legislation to have this kind of autonomy. What we are also arguing and advancing here is that the Central Tenders Board is represented at the level of the tenders’ committees of these various statutory authorities. They are represented. So the Central Tenders Board is not excluded. There is representation on the tenders committee whether it is at the TTPost, Airports Authority or the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC): they are represented there.

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