EDUCATION Minister Anthony Garcia has been cleared by the Integrity Commission (IC) of a complaint of preferential treatment to a contractor for payments from the Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL).
The complaint was made to the IC by former Education Minister, Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh who alleged that Garcia committed breaches of Sections 24 and 32 of the Integrity in Public Life Act by “singling out” contractor Sunboom Contractors Ltd for payment over other contractors with the EFCL.
Gopeesingh’s complaint was made on May 12, 2017.
A statement from the Education Ministry on Friday said the commission found there was no evidence to support the contention that Garcia, or anyone else, instructed and/or influenced the EFCL to pay Sunboom ahead of other companies that were awaiting payment.
The EFCL, which hired Sunboom, is said to owe an outstanding $600 million to other contractors.
The Education Ministry also said the commission has “terminated the complaint under Section 34 (6) of the Integrity in Public Life Act” against Garcia.
“The vindication of Minister Garcia by the Commission is in line with his statement in Parliament in May 2017, in which he rejected accusations put to him by Dr. Gopeesingh that there was any truth to media reports of alleged preferential treatment meted out to an EFCL contractor over other contractors.”
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