Post Cabinet - 2 June 2016
June 2, 2016: The Honourable Stuart Young, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, made a statement during the Post Cabinet Press Briefing today (Thursday 2nd June, 2016) at the Office of the Prime Minister, St. Clair, Port of Spain.
Speaking to the media, Minister Young made reference to the previous government’s attempt to improve their political foothold in Tobago following elections in 2013. In doing so, the former administration carried out a number of acts where were contrary to the existing legislation, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Act.
This act grants a great deal of autonomy to the THA to run the affairs of Tobago. In keeping with this agenda, the Ministry of Tobago Development and the Human Capital Development Facilitation Company Limited (a state enterprise) were established to suppress the THA.
Upon taking office, the present Government declared that it will not support the degradation of legislation, in particular the THA Act, nor will it support the duplication of the statutory functions, powers or autonomy of the THA. As a result, the Government mandated a review into this former ministry and the Human Capital Development Facilitation Company. A report (dated February 2016) was completed by Dr. Prince and Mrs. Ethel Hector-Berkley.
According to the report, the Ministry of Tobago Development attempted to implement eleven (11) major projects and programmes most of which:
i. fell short in attaining projected outcomes;
ii. were ill-conceived and save and exempt for un-realised political capital of the former Tobago West MP and Minister of Tobago Development, Dr Delmon Baker had negligible actual or potential socio-economic benefits to the people of Tobago
iii. had evidence of poor financial management ; and
iv. duplicated the responsibilities of the THA at law