The National Lotteries Control Board spent $40,000 on Johnnie Walker Black whisky as gifts for NLCB Board members and also paid $1,000 for a taxi to transport a Tobago director to the Lara Stadium, UNC MP Roodal Moonilal has said.
Speaking during the budget debate in Parliament on Thursday, he said, “Even though they were told to tighten their belts, they squandered money as if they never see money—there was total mismanagement there!”
“They spent and overspent on trips abroad, lavish travels to Italy, Las Vegas, China, the Magdalena in Tobago. The Finance Minister stopped the travels, but did they return the money?”
He listed spending from an NLCB report
• Staff function at Hilton – Massy Stores vouchers totalling $100,000
• Johnnie Walker Black whisky as gifts for NLCB Board members – $40,000
• Board members cricket excursion -$687,000
• Taxi to take a Tobago director to Lara Stadium – $1,000
• Hyatt Retreat stationary cost – $18,000
•Awards ceremony -$800,00
• Children’s party – $250,000
•Decorations – 106,00, $60,000 sound system .
• Ten members long service awards – $108,000
Moonilal also noted $10,000 body guard costs and patrols for NLCB’s chairman and a “bomb sweep” at his office—though the chairman didn’t report a security threat to the police Moonilal urged the Government to remove tax on NLCB games like Play Whe to prevent illegal gambling.
He said Price Waterhouse Coopers was being used as the “FBI” as ex- Port CEO Chairman Lewis dismissal letter stated she was removed due to recent information from a PWC audit. He said Lewis’ dismissal reeked of victimisation, political influence and undermining of Parliament as she recently testified before the Joint Select committee probing ferry issues.
Moonilal also queried the hiring of Petrotrin consultants noted in an October 201 6 document. He said it would be feasible to have sensitive information like—seismic research and those regarding lease operations— trusted to people who lacked contracts.