THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is in response to your editorial of Tuesday, February 5, 2013, titled 'Fly the gate on Caymanas Track Ltd', criticising the administration for not moving apace with the announced divestment of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL).
Since the announcement by Minister Horace Dalley at the summit on horse racing last August, the administration has taken several steps in preparation for the divestment of CTL. Both ministers Dalley and Peter Phillips have held meetings with stakeholders to find solutions to address the myriad of issues affecting the racing industry.
On December 17, 2012, Cabinet approved the establishment of the Caymanas Track Enterprise Team for the privatisation of CTL. Since then, the Enterprise Team has met to work out the modalities for the divestment. It is, therefore, incorrect to suggest in the editorial that there has been "little evidence of a serious effort at divestment on the part of the administration". The Cabinet is committed to the divestment of CTL and the process is well on the way.
Although there has been slight improvement at CTL with administrative changes in its accounting procedures and management, the Government is well aware of the financial situation at the state-owned entity. In recent times also, efforts have been made to strengthen the operational capacity of CTL, with proposed hiring of a new chief executive officer, a marketing manager, and the possibility of engaging expertise to enhance product offerings and strategic development, aimed at keeping the entity viable for divestment.
As it relates to interests in acquiring the facility, we are aware from public pronouncements that there are local and overseas interests. However, no individual or groupings of potential investors have approached the Government formally with any proposed "unsolicited" offer.
The administration reiterates that the divestment of CTL will be conducted in a transparent manner and will be open to local as well as overseas investors. The divestment of CTL will not be 'short-circuited', and the process will be transparent and according to the established guidelines.
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
Heroes Circle, Kingston