Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Edwards questions CTL's flip-flop

Published:Friday | January 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Correction & Clarification


THE EDITOR, Sir:

IN AN article by Mr Ainsley Walters, in your newspaper on Friday, January 9, 2015 a grossly incorrect reference was made to me stating that I stated that the decision to split the security contract at Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) was one taken by Cabinet. I said no such thing on TV. Nor have I made any such similar statement in, or on any other media.

To be clear, the decision to split the contract was never a decision taken by the board or management of CTL. I stated, in fact, that that decision was taken by the Ministry of Finance procurement unit.

Additionally, the current incumbent McKay Security is also not being forced out or removed for non-performance by CTL.

The simple basic fact is that there is presently no contract in place for security services at CTL since 2010 and the Government’s procurement process requires that we rectify this breach.

We have been going on a month-by-month arrangement with McKay Security over the period and the regulatory agencies have mandated that CTL address this breach. This is not only so for the security contract, but also the garbage disposal, sanitation and canteen concessionaire services.

We have, therefore, moved to bring proper governance contractual order to all these four contracts simultaneously.

Of note, three of these contract tendering processes are being monitored, managed and executed to this point by the Ministry of Finance Procurement Division - including the security contract.

While we understand the concerns raised as it relates to the decision to split the contracts into two packages, this board will not and cannot take any decision not to tender the security or any such contracts that are required by law to be selected via a competitive and transparent tender.

We, however, have already taken steps to have reviewed the rationale behind the decision to separate the security contract at CTL into two packages, but we cannot not tender the security contract as is being proffered in certain quarters.

Sincerely,
CHRISTOPHER R. BROWN,
Chairman
Caymanas Track Limited

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Vin Edwards, president of the Jamaica Racehorse Trainers Association (JRTA), said his members have been left puzzled by contrasting statements from Caymanas Track Limited's (CTL) chief executive officer, Cedric Stewart, and his boss, board chairman Christopher Brown.

Edwards' group has not accepted CTL's explanation regarding the horseracing promoting company's decision to contract two security firms at the cash-strapped racetrack.

He said his members have been left even more baffled after Brown contradicted Stewart in a television interview, saying the directive to split the security-contract bid into raceday and non-raceday services was a recommendation from Cabinet.

Split contract recommendation

"During the launch of the New Year's Day McKay Security Raceday, in the trainers' room, on Christmas Eve, Stewart was asked by journalists who had recommended that the contract be split. He responded by saying that it was the board.

"A night later, on TV, the chairman of the board, Christopher Brown, was saying it was Cabinet. Brown and Stewart's statements are conflicting. It needs explanation. I won't go further than that at this point in time," Edwards added.

Stewart had come under heavy criticism from Edwards and grooms' head, Fabian White, during the press launch.

The association heads were upset that neither body was consulted in the decision to split the bid process into raceday and non-raceday services. In addition, they voiced concerns that the existing company, which operates under a single contract, McKay Security, was seemingly being forced out of Caymanas Park.

Stewart, in a subsequent press release, stated:

Misconception

"There seems to be a misconception by stakeholders that the decision to separate the security contract at Caymanas Track Limited was based on any dissatisfaction with the services supplied by McKay Security or our resident security consultant, Jason McKay.

"The decision was totally based on a strategy of maximising performance by stratifying various areas in the complicated and unique Caymanas Track environment and to maintain harmony between the permanent workforce and the part-time team required on racedays."

- A.W.