The Siparia MP, while addressing the UNC’s National Congress at the Couva South Multipurpose Complex, Couva, questioned the award of state contracts to three companies: Cummings and Associates Company Limited; PICAL Services Company Limited; and Klydon Enterprises Company Limited.
Two of the companies, Cummings and Associates and PICAL, list the senator and his wife as directors.
The Opposition Leader said PICAL was “handpicked” through “selective tendering” last November to handle the demolition of the building which formerly housed Besson Street Police Station and the company was also recently awarded a contract for garbage collection services for Housing Development Corporation projects.
“I want to ask the Prime Minister, if this same company, this same Foster Cummings, PICAL Services Limited that was awarded contracts for garbage collection service in HDC Developments,” said Bissessar.
“So what procurement process was used here? Selective tendering again? What is the value of these contracts? Why Is PICAL the contractor to receive these multimillion-dollar contracts?” she asked.
Cummings, who is the general secretary of the People’s National Movement, was reappointed as a government senator on Wednesday following Garvin Simonette’s resignation.
Simonette resigned when a 2014 DUI charge in the United States was revealed after he was announced as the Prime Minister’s choice to take up the Public Administration Ministry following Marlene McDonald’s removal.
Cummings had been removed from the Senate on July 21, to make way for Minister of Communications Donna Cox’s appointment to the Senate bench.
The UNC political leader also asked if Klydon Enterprises, which was awarded a contract to construct a community centre for $1,209,329.53, had any connection to Cummings.
“This Company was only incorporated on 25th November 2015, right after the general elections. It has no shares, no assets but has been awarded a $1.2M contract,” said Persad-Bissessar.
“What is coincidental is that the same lawyer who files the annual returns for PICAL Services Limited filed for Klydon Enterprises Limited.”
The Opposition Leader noted that last November, the office of the Prime Minister had taken responsibility for Udecott, and as such asked the Prime Minister if he was aware of these connections.
“I want to ask whether there is any link between Klydon Enterprises Limited, Cummings & Associates Company Limited and PICAL Services Limited? Whether there is any link between Senator Cummings and either of these companies?
“What was the procedure used by Udecott to award the contract to Klydon Enterprises Limited?” asked Persad-Bissessar who stated in 2004 Dr Rowley, as then Housing Minister, admitted in Parliament that PICAL had received a state contract for an NHA housing project in Edinburgh 500.
Guardian Media reached out to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for a response to the UNC leader’s statements but did not get a response up to the time of publication.
Attempts to contact Cummings were also unsuccessful.