Dealers lose bid for Heritage scrap, want PM to probe ‘flawed process’
The TT Scrap Iron Dealers Association (TTSIDA) is claiming the process to award contracts for the disposal of scrap iron and metals from 38 lots at Heritage Petroleum was flawed, after losing out on its bid.
TTSIDA president Alan Ferguson wants the Prime Minister and Energy Minister Stuart Young to re-evaluate the procedure.
Ferguson said this could cripple the industry, as the former Petrotrin, of which Heritage is a subsidiary, accounted for 75 per cent of the scrap it exported.
Ferguson, who made a submission as a joint-venture arrangement with three dealers, said the submission was not even considered. He said Heritage told him his bid could not opened as the Google link had expired.
Claiming approaches were made for a “kick-back,” which he refused, he said something rotten took place, and warrants an investigation. He absolved chairman Michael Quamina, “because I saw honesty in his features.”
Nevertheless, he said, he wants to know how a “shell company” which registered only a month before the bid round closed has won the right to access scrap iron from 18 of the 38 lots that were up for bids.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Ferguson identified the company and named its directors. He showed pictures of a building in south Trinidad, which is said to be itsregistered headquarters.
However, the building appeared devoid of any equipment to suggest it was in operation. There are no telephone numbers registered publicly for the company.
The matter has been referred to his attorney Martin George, and Ferguson warned failure to meet with Rowley and Young could result in court action “all the way to the Privy Council.”
He said the scrap iron dealers were among the most disenfranchised and vulnerable groups in the country and this was an opportunity for them to uplift themselves.
“But you take away from the poor to give to those who already have and who already raped Petrotrin.”
Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) TTSIDA was able toobtain a list of the names of the companies, the quantity of material and price per tonne at which the tender was awarded.
What he saw listed he described as “totally foolish, moral madness,” as he had made the highest bid, but was not awarded even one lot.
“I thought when you go to purchase materials people want the best price, not the less price for their product.”
He also called on Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi to fast-track legislation which has been in the works since 2013 to regularise the industry.
“Pass laws for our industry to move forward,” Ferguson appealed.
Initiatives to regulate the industry surfaced amidst reports that scrap-iron dealers were dealing in stolen goods.
Ferguson said proper legislation is the only way for the industry to thrive.
Condemning those who deal in stolen goods, Ferguson appealed to his members to stay away from people who would bring stolen goods to their yards and call the police.
BY: YVONNE WEBB