House Debates

Date Published: 
2000-03-31
Source: 
parliament.gov.tt

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Friday, March 31, 2000
The House met at 1.30 p.m.

[excerpt]

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

Fifa Youth Championship—Stadia
(Government’s Interest)

34. Mr. Martin Joseph (St. Ann’s East) asked the Minister of Social and Community Development and Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs: With respect to the four (4) new Stadia for the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship, will the Minister indicate precisely how the Government’s interest is being secured during the construction phase of the project?

The Minister of Social and Community Development and Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs (Hon. Manohar Ramsaran): Mr. Speaker, the Project Management Unit of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development has oversight responsibility on behalf of the Government in respect of the construction of stadia for the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship. That unit will monitor the project and interface with the project and construction managers as may be necessary, from time to time, on the basis of information derived from monthly status reports during the construction phase of the project.

FIFA Youth Championship—Stadia
(Financial Details)

35. Mr. Martin Joseph asked the Minister of Social and Community Development and Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs:

(a) With respect to the four (4) new Stadia for the 2001 FIFA World Cup Youth Football Championship currently under construction, will the Minister state the financial obligation to be met by FIFA, pursuant to Cabinet’s decision to engage FIFA as project managers for the construction phase of the project?

(b) Will the Minister provide an estimate of Government’s savings, as a consequence of this contractual arrangement?

(c) Further, will the Minister list the names of the FIFA personnel charged with the responsibility of project managing the construction of the four (4) Stadia on behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and state the project management experience of each person listed?

The Minister of Social and Community Development and Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs (Hon. Manohar Ramsaran): Mr. Speaker, FIFA is not project manager for the 2001 stadia project. Cabinet’s agreement that FIFA be appointed project manager for the construction of the four stadia for the 2001 FIFA World Cup Youth Football Championship was rescinded in December 1999.

1.45 p.m.

Cabinet agreed that instead of the proposal, that the consortium of Royal Merchant Bank and Finance Company Limited, Guardian Life of the Caribbean Limited and Barbados Mutual Life Assurance Society referred to as RGM Limited and CONCACAF be appointed as joint developers’ project managers for the project. It is noted that the National Football Stadium Company, the Special Purpose Company incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of RGM Limited will own and execute the project.

RGM Limited, by standardizing a number of components of the designs and inclusive of the provision of athletic tracks, has estimated the project to be Option A $424,928,867 VAT inclusive, and Option B, $369,503,450 VAT exclusive as compared with the previous costing of approximately $431,874,000. There will be a savings of an estimated $7 million on the VAT inclusive option. However, Government has selected a VAT exclusive option since it avoids the situation whereby Government would be borrowing its own revenue for 15 years at a cost of 12.25 per cent per annum thereby accruing additional savings.

As indicated in the response to part (a) of the question, FIFA is not responsible for project managing the construction of the four stadia on behalf of Government, therefore, the question regarding the names of FIFA personnel charged with the responsibility for same is not relevant.

Mr. M. Joseph: Mr. Speaker, a supplemental. Mr. Minister, you indicated that the Central Tenders Board had absolutely nothing to do with respect to the award of these agreements and that Government acting under section 75(1) of the Constitution decided to undertake these. Which agency then decided which of the options were the most suitable?

Hon. M. Ramsaran: When did I say that, Mr. Speaker? I cannot remember saying that.

Dr. Rowley: Mr. Speaker, could the Minister assist us by identifying the differentiation between FIFA and CONCACAF that his Government recognizes in this matter?

Hon. M. Ramsaran: FIFA is the world body and CONCACAF is the regional body which is affiliated to FIFA.

Dr. Rowley: Is it that CONCACAF which is affiliated to FIFA is, in fact, the project manager?

Hon. M. Ramsaran: I said that.

Dr. Rowley: I am asking is it that CONCACAF that is affiliated as a part of FIFA which is the project manager with RGM?

Hon. M. Ramsaran: There is one CONCACAF, and that is the CONCACAF mentioned.

Dr. Rowley: Is the Minister aware that a company was registered locally in Trinidad and Tobago last year September with local directors called CONCACAF? Is he also aware that it is that locally registered company which has nothing to do with FIFA that is in fact your project manager?

Hon. M. Ramsaran: I am not aware, but I can check.

Dr. Rowley: Mr. Speaker, I want to get this clear. Is the Minister saying that he is unaware that the company which the Government has contracted to spend $400,000,000 is a locally registered company with local directors?

Hon. M. Ramsaran: I am not aware when it was registered. I thought CONCACAF was—as far as I know, CONCACAF is CONCACAF.

Dr. Rowley: Mr. Speaker, is the Minister aware that public funds are being managed by a CONCACAF which is not the one he has described as an extension of FIFA, but in fact a locally registered company?

Hon. M. Ramsaran: I will check on this, Mr. Speaker.