No need for alarm!
Chairman of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Dennis Chung, has come to the defence of the agency, indicating that the $29.7-million project to remove bulk waste in three parishes was not unusual in terms of the state body's mandate.
Chung told The Gleaner yesterday that he was not aware of the project, noting that members of the board try to stay out of operations carried out by the NSWMA.
"I would have expected that what Audley (Gordon) may have done is that after seeing something of concern, he would write to query if he could get the funding, and then he would have advised the board of the fact that he has done this and he is looking for approval to go ahead."
Chung said he has no problem with the concerns of the Opposition, noting that "if they want scrutiny over the project, they should get it".
However, he questioned the call for the contractor general to intervene, saying the oversight body deals with contracts "and in this case I don't think that there have been any contracts being executed or sought at all.
"If there is a concern, my board would have no problem ensuring that there is proper transparency over the project."
In addition, Chung said the executive director has a certain amount of discretion in engaging the Tourism Enhancement Fund and Tourism Product Development Company Limited in carrying out projects.
Chung said he will ascertain the details of the project from Gordon, noting that the executive director could have submitted the information in a board report that has not yet been discussed. "He presents an executive director's report to us every month, but we don't discuss everything in there or else, we would be at board meetings for 24 hours."