The Government is giving itself two weeks to reconstitute the board of directors of State-owned Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott).
Well-placed sources made this revelation last night, after the Government sacked the four remaining members of the old Calder Hart-led board. The sources said a full board should be in place, under Chair Jearlean John, within the next fortnight. John was appointed last month after a hasty resignation by the controversial Hart. Attorney General John Jeremie earlier yesterday laid the bulky report of the Uff Commission of Enquiry into the Construction Sector and Udecott in the Senate.
Jeremie told legislators the board would be replaced, with only the recently appointed chairman Jearlean John being retained. Jeremie said Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday issued the directive, following the presentation of the Uff report. The sacked directors are vice-chairman Dr Krishna Bahadoorsingh, Senator Michael Annisette, Wendell Dottin and Anthony Cherry. Cabinet yesterday met in special session, at which the Uff report was discussed at length. "As a result, Mr President, Cabinet will now move to reconstitute the board of directors of Udecott," Jeremie told the Senate, explaining that John would be kept in the chair.
"The existing members have been thanked for their services...A reconstituted board should be in place in short order," he said.
The long-awaited report slammed Udecott on several public projects, including the thorny Ministry of Legal Affairs towers in Port-of-Spain.
The Uff team recommended that that matter be turned over to the police for investigation. That matter pertains to the award of a $368 million contract to CH Development, subsequently renamed Sunway Construction.
The Uff Commission also recommended an investigation into certain packages of the contract for construction of the Brian Lara Stadium i Tarouba.
Among other recommendations is that there be an audit into the conduct of all Udecott's senior staff and directors in the period 2004 to 2009, as to their involvement in errors and omissions concerning the Brian Lara Stadium project. The report listed 91 firm and direct recommendations. Udecott directors have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and had refused to resign, despite several requests from the political opposition and other critics. Government officials also strongly supported the retention of the directors, saying they had done nothing wrong.