Gonzales says he’s ready to appear before Parliament’s JSC

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Gonzales says he’s ready to appear before Parliament’s JSC

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales is prepared to make an appearance before any Parliament Joint Select Committee to answer questions in regard to the TSTT-data-breach-misinformation drama.

This, after UNC MP Barry Padarath yesterday called for Gonzales and fired TSTT CEO Lisa Agard to go before the JSC on State Enterprises to tell the truth about recent statements on the issue.

Padarath spoke after TSTT management appeared before the JSC on Monday and claimed Agard had provided Gonzales with the inaccurate information he initially gave to Parliament on the October 9 cyberattack statements about the issue. Agard subsequently denied she provided any misleading or inaccurate information to Gonzales.

In Parliament last Friday, Gonzales had given a personal explanation on a statement he made in Parliament on November 1 on the cyberbreach and customers’ data. Among his explanation, he’d said that was based on information provided to him by the executive and/or the board of TSTT; TSTT’s October 28 correspondence to its customers; and TSTT’s October 30 statement on the cybersecurity issue.

Gonzales maintained he acted on information provided to him and that the information in TSTT’s November 3 media release, titled “Update on cybersecurity issue,” was never in his possession or knowledge on November 1 when he addressed Parliament. He apologised to the Parliament and public.

In response to Padarath’s call, Gonzales, in a GML interview, said: “I gave a comprehensive personal explanation in the Parliament last Friday. I dare anyone (past or current TSTT official) to contradict anything I said in that personal explanation.

“Additionally, I am prepared to go anywhere to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth before any lawful tribunal or committee, and that includes a JSC. Since when does the UNC believe that I would be afraid to participate in a JSC proceedings to enlighten the country on any matter concerning my portfolio?”

Gonzales added, “The minute I took my oath of office, I have been transparent and truthful to the population on matters before me. The minute I feel that I have to lie and to obfuscate on matters concerning my portfolio, that’s when I’ll hand the Prime Minister my resignation.

“I am a PNM Minister of Government and that means a lot to me and the way I carry about myself in my public and private affairs, recognising that I’m a member of a PNM Cabinet led by a Prime Minister who will not tolerate certain behaviour in his Cabinet. Unfortunately, the UNC doesn’t operate with those standards.”

“Whenever I’m wrong or I make an error in my utterances, I will say so and correct the records for the benefit of the population. So I don’t need UNC or Padarath to lecture to me on anything, since they lack the moral authority to speak on any issue in Trinidad and Tobago, especially when it comes to speaking the truth. I also look forward to any ill-conceived motion of privilege that the UNC may wish to concoct. I’ll deal with that too!”