ROWLEY'S COMMENTS UPSET BRIDGEMAN
Vice chairman of Canadian-based fast ferry service provider Bridgemans Services Group LP Andrew Purdey, yesterday said he was willing to give a detailed interview and hand over all contractual documents relating to the Ocean Flower 2 to sole investigator Christian Mouttet.
Mouttet was hand-picked by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley last Tuesday to investigate the procurement process of the Cabo Star and Ocean Flower 2 vessels, which are now embroiled in controversy.
Purdey said his decision to return to Trinidad to cooperate with all investigators was prompted by inaccurate statements made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley at a press conference in Tobago on Monday.
During a press conference at the Magdalena Grand on Monday, Rowley suggested that he believed something had gone drastically wrong and crooked with the Ocean Flower 2 transaction, a sentiment which was reported in all the media yesterday and the night before.
Yesterday, Purdey said while he would not comment directly on the PM’s statements, he was prepared to provide any information that he (the PM) would request of him.
“He (Rowley) has got his information, but I am prepared to provide any information that he or anyone else wants because there is a saying that goes...the truth shall set you free and we should be focusing on the truth,” Purdey said.
In an email sent to Bridgemans Services president Brian Grange, Port Authority of T&T acting general manager/CEO Charmaine Lewis and its deputy chairman Adrian Beharry, which the T&T Guardian received a copy of, Purdey raised issues about his company’s name being discredited in the media in relation to the Ocean Flower 2 contract.
Purdey said he had received several news reports that Rowley had suggested the contract “we negotiated with PATT regarding the Ocean Flower was crooked.” He questioned “why Bridgemans need to defend the truth when it is your own Government that you can talk with and set the record straight.”
He said every stage of the negotiation process was conducted with the highest level of ethics and professionalism and was done in front of PATT’s board.
“Why should we need to be dealing with this? We will need to get to the bottom of this wasteful and inaccurate information that is damaging Bridgemans,” Purdey insisted in his email.
In a brief telephone interview, Purdey said he had no problem with surrendering all documents to Mouttet and any other authority investigating the procurement process involving the vessels.
“If they ask us too, yes, we will hand over all documents and conduct interviews. We will give full disclosure and the sooner the better,” Purdey said.
“I am planning on coming back to Trinidad very soon to set the record straight and we want the truth out there. We categorically deny every wrong doing on Bridgemans’ part. Everything that the contract had was done using the highest standard of international law.”
He maintained that Bridgemans and PATT held discussions every step of the way, including the ship selection.
“So we want the investigation to be conducted as soon as possible,” he said.
He steered clear, however, on saying whether reports that the Ocean Flower 2 was still on its way to Trinidad were true, saying: “That’s a matter of contract between us and the Port.”