Categorized | Editorial, News

Breaking or not following the law, was the order of their tenure

Editorial – February 27, 2015 :

As mentioned in a story in this issue, we expect in not too many distant days to possess a copy of or at least in the first instance a summary of the task force’s findings in their review/investigation of the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC)’s management carryings-on.

We have briefly outlined how the MDC as a corporation in line with its by-laws and structure functioned, or supposed to have functioned. The sole shareholder being government, Cabinet became the place where important ratification and approval took place of board decisions took place. It is expected that decisions at these meetings are passed in the form of Resolutions, ordinary or otherwise, that these are recorded and the Board informed, and also that these neither are available for the course of auditing or investigations.

We have learnt that Cabinet did not function in this way. When H E Governor Davis told us that MDC was seldom discussed at Cabinet meetings, is it reasonable to believe when told that directives/decisions were conveyed to the board by word of mouth, the chaos that must have been created?

We expect to hear that contrary to what the would-be fallen directors have been reportedly telling their friends concerned or otherwise that all was well with their management of the affairs at MDC, bearing in mind that good faith, honesty and integrity are required for all their dealings on behalf of the company.

No one would imagine that since the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors who are appointed by the Shareholders (Cabinet ) that this following clause would not have been properly done as described earlier. Under the clause dealing with Apointments:” The directors shall as often as may be required appoint, through a process of open and competitive selection, a Chief Executive Officer.” Was the CEO’s position advertised in 2013? How many and who were the applicants? If not could this contract be a legal one and was this sanctioned or approved according to the clause that said, “The directors shall submit all material contracts for approval or ratification at any annual meeting of the shareholders or at any special meeting of the shareholders called for the purpose of considering the same.”

Or did the cabinet boss like in some other situations simply called up and said, “why not give the job to xxx?” Or better yet, by straightforward directive?

We expect the task force to find that there were be unsanctioned actions taken where DFID funds were not spent in the manner intended, to provide jobs to as many people as possible, following legislative procurement rules. They will probably find that there is not even documentary evidence to satisfy some actions. It would be no different than reported in the Fraud investigation report surrounding government procurements.

Will they find that it is true, that according to reports MDC paid to ship the equipment of Montserrat’s longest standing and most successful woodworker, cabinet and furniture maker to Togo, Africa? That this was to facilitate the settling of the tobacco manufacturing company in the buildings the furniture maker occupied. That this manufacturing company has cost the country probably millions in revenue?

The new government must consider investigating this company who brings no revenue to the country receiving more concessions, recently as few as perhaps two days before the September 11 elections. One official said, when the information was shared, “all I can think it must be pay-back.”

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – February 27, 2015 :

As mentioned in a story in this issue, we expect in not too many distant days to possess a copy of or at least in the first instance a summary of the task force’s findings in their review/investigation of the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC)’s management carryings-on.

We have briefly outlined how the MDC as a corporation in line with its by-laws and structure functioned, or supposed to have functioned. The sole shareholder being government, Cabinet became the place where important ratification and approval took place of board decisions took place. It is expected that decisions at these meetings are passed in the form of Resolutions, ordinary or otherwise, that these are recorded and the Board informed, and also that these neither are available for the course of auditing or investigations.

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We have learnt that Cabinet did not function in this way. When H E Governor Davis told us that MDC was seldom discussed at Cabinet meetings, is it reasonable to believe when told that directives/decisions were conveyed to the board by word of mouth, the chaos that must have been created?

We expect to hear that contrary to what the would-be fallen directors have been reportedly telling their friends concerned or otherwise that all was well with their management of the affairs at MDC, bearing in mind that good faith, honesty and integrity are required for all their dealings on behalf of the company.

No one would imagine that since the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors who are appointed by the Shareholders (Cabinet ) that this following clause would not have been properly done as described earlier. Under the clause dealing with Apointments:” The directors shall as often as may be required appoint, through a process of open and competitive selection, a Chief Executive Officer.” Was the CEO’s position advertised in 2013? How many and who were the applicants? If not could this contract be a legal one and was this sanctioned or approved according to the clause that said, “The directors shall submit all material contracts for approval or ratification at any annual meeting of the shareholders or at any special meeting of the shareholders called for the purpose of considering the same.”

Or did the cabinet boss like in some other situations simply called up and said, “why not give the job to xxx?” Or better yet, by straightforward directive?

We expect the task force to find that there were be unsanctioned actions taken where DFID funds were not spent in the manner intended, to provide jobs to as many people as possible, following legislative procurement rules. They will probably find that there is not even documentary evidence to satisfy some actions. It would be no different than reported in the Fraud investigation report surrounding government procurements.

Will they find that it is true, that according to reports MDC paid to ship the equipment of Montserrat’s longest standing and most successful woodworker, cabinet and furniture maker to Togo, Africa? That this was to facilitate the settling of the tobacco manufacturing company in the buildings the furniture maker occupied. That this manufacturing company has cost the country probably millions in revenue?

The new government must consider investigating this company who brings no revenue to the country receiving more concessions, recently as few as perhaps two days before the September 11 elections. One official said, when the information was shared, “all I can think it must be pay-back.”