T&T Top Cop erred in contract award -Solicitor General

Solicitor General Eleanor Donaldson Honeywell has concluded that Gibbs acted “without authority” in the award of a contract to Zenith Air Scout Surveillance Aircraft at an estimated cost of TT$902,772.00.

“The supposition of the CoP that as Accounting Officer he was authorised to act for the Central Tenders Board in procurement, resulting in the engagement of a contract valued up to TT$1 million was unfounded,” the Solicitor General wrote in her statement sent to the Sunday Express yesterday.

She said only a Permanent Secretary had this authority.

Gibbs, she stressed, did not have the authority to enter into procurement transactions of any dollar value without adhering to the existing Central Tenders Board Act provisions. “As Accounting Officer the CoP is required by law to ensure that financial expenditure for the TTPS is duly authorised. He was required to ensure that the CTB procedures were applied. He may therefore be found to have failed to carry out his duties as a public official in this transaction,” she said.

The Solicitor General also advised that a contract such as this transaction entered into by the Police Service, made in excess of the authority’s power “will be ultra vires and void”. “Accordingly neither party may be entitled to enforce this agreement even if the contracting company was unaware that the Commissioner entitled his authority by entering into this transaction,” Donaldson-Honeywell stated.

At a Joint Select Committee meeting two weeks ago, Gibbs was found to be disrespectful, lacking in leadership qualities, unenthusiastic and lacking passion for the job.

And chairman of the Police Service Commission Prof Ramesh Deosaran stated that Gibbs was warned that he was close to the brink.

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