Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Farley Augustine has revealed that approximately $400,000 had been spent thus far to assist the Roxborough Folk Performers in New York.
He made the revelation in a Post Executive Council Media Briefing held on Thursday,
During the briefing he addressed the matter regarding a lack of funding and resources for 27 members of the group in New York.
He emphasized that they weren’t sent by the THA but rather the THA partly sponsored the trip and had not accounted to spend such a large sum.
This comes after Deputy Chief Secretary Watson Duke slammed Augustine’s Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) administration for not providing funding for members of the group who were set to perform at several events in New York.
Augustine admitted that the performers had approached the THA for some assistance since they had several activities scheduled in and around the tri-state area in New York for Labour Day festivities, and they had agreed.
He said that he was assured that they were not seeking 100% funding.
He revealed that the group departed the country quickly, and the THA could not have issued any cheques for their departure and as such a promissory note was given to the travel agency to settle the bill.
He stressed that the THA is not in a financial position to distribute cash on its whim and has to go through the executive board as well since he alone cannot make the decision.
The Chief Secretary made an assurance that before the end of the weekend, there will be a release indicating the decision to treat with “the unfortunate and the ill-advised briefing of the DCS in NY.”