Local advocacy group United Pac has reiterated its call for an independent inquiry into the decision by the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA) to grant a contract to build a private jet operating facility at the Hewanorra Airport.
The group in a press release said that its previous media statement issued on June 17, 2013 which called for the review, has gone unanswered.
The group had asked that the ministers of finance and infrastructure conduct a review of the processes leading to SLASPA’s granting of the contract to an association comprising four firms namely, L-Caribbean, Herzog, Metro Caribbean and a US-based fixed-based operator (FBO).
United Pac had based its request on what it said were “grave” concerns communicated by bidders and fears that there may have been conflict of interest issues which could have compromised the bidding and selection process.
The group had also called for details on the criteria used to award scores to the successful bidder and accused the chosen company of being the least experienced of all bidders.
United Pac had further requested that the ministers reveal the composition of the review panel which awarded the contract “especially given reports that there were no persons with related technical competence on the panel”.
In a statement on July 23, 2013 United Pac said that it “is therefore obligated to once again call on minister of finance and the minister of infrastructure to bring clarity to this worrying situation which threatens to undermine the integrity of SLASPA. Failure to respond, we will be left with no choice but to shine the light on the dark hole of decision-making surrounding this matter”.
The group further stated, “United Pac is of the view that this matter is significant and requires some measure of clarification and accountability by the management of SLASPA and those who have been entrusted with upholding the integrity of the system of governance in our Country. These authorities both in SLASPA and the government of St Lucia are obligated therefore to explain decisions made within entities under their jurisdiction when worrying questions are raised and respond to major concerns of the proportion raised in our June 17th Press Statement.”
The group said it hopes that the ‘fresh call’ will attract the attention of those concerned and further stated, “we are curious as to reasons why a press release from SLASPA in response to our June 17th Press Statement was hurriedly recalled by that entity.”