Saturday 7 December, 2019

PM requests report over $92k Tobago weekend

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has requested a full report from Sport and Youth Affairs Minister Darryl Smith on a recently concluded trip to Tobago by the Minister and Ministry officials, along with the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

Information leaked on social media revealed that a 12-member team from the Ministry and the Sports Company racked up a $92,000 bill for a stay at the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, Tobago last weekend.

The delegation attended travelled to Tobago to attend the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Sports Awards.

According to supporting documents the hotel bill for 12 rooms for a three-night stay accounted for $77,910.43, and a further $10,400 was for the rental of four cars.

Additionally $3,600 represented their airfare, bringing the overall cost to $91,910.43.

Smith, as quoted in daily newspapers on Wednesday described the revelations as mischief and "another storm in a teacup".

The Minister is of the view that the funds expended remained in Government coffers as Caribbean Airlines was used and the delegation stayed at the Magdalena Grand.

New information on Wednesday indicated that Personal Assistant to the Minister, Cindy Cupid, Executive Assistant to the Permanent Secretary, Melissa Assam, and Kate Balthazar from the Communications Unit did not receive invitations to the Awards, however, an email was sent to the Ministry requesting assistance for them to be accommodated at the event.

The request was made by Marie Elena-Phillips, the Minister's Personal Secretary, a day after airline tickets had already been booked.


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