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(CMC) – The Trinidad and Tobago government Monday said it is seeking to re-negotiate an agreement with the state-owned telecommunications provider for CCTV coverage after complaining that the fees were too expensive.
National Security Minister Stuart Young told a Standing Finance Committee meeting that the agreement with the Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) was too exorbitant.
“When we came in as an administration we found that a contract had been entered into with TSTT that was not a contract that was favourable by any stretch of the imagination. The costing that had been entered into previous to us was working out in some instances to between 14 and 11 thousand dollars (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) a camera for months,” Young said.
He said that another provider, Columbus Communications, was providing the facility for TT$3,000 a month.
“Just on that comparison alone, as the National Security Council, we decided not to renew the contract. So this sum of money is really a sum of credit while that is being worked out,” Young said, adding that the government would not be continuing the contract at the current rate.
“I would not call it a dispute as yet, but one of the issues that’s being raised with TSTT is that the payments on a month to month basis will not be at the prevailing rates…but rather they would be on a value for money on a quantum merit basis.”
He said this is one of the “conversations” taking place with TSTT, whose minority shareholder is the British-based telecommunications giant, Cable and Wireless, adding “we have not accepted the continuum of costs at the previous contractual rate”.
“The monthly cost is being re-negotiated, we have refused to pay TSTT,” he said, noting that some of the cameras that existed “are outdated technology”.
“So we have asked for an update in technology, an enhancement of the system and a wider coverage. We left it open for persons to put in their tenders….” he told the committee that was examining the reduction of an estimated TT$100 million at the Ministry of National Security.