Padarath wants Gonzales to appear before JSC after Agard’s revelations

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Padarath wants Gonzales to appear before JSC after Agard’s revelations

Public Utilities Minister, Marvin Gonzales should be brought before the Joint Select Committee (JSC) to answer questions on a cyberattack on the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) last year.

This according to Princes Town MP and Opposition Shadow Minister for Public Utilities, Barry Padarath.

In a statement this morning, Padarath said the JSC on State Enterprises should request Gonzales’ presence, following “explosive” submissions by former TSTT CEO Lisa Agard and former CFO, Shiva Ramnarine.

Padarath said Gonzales has a duty to address issues raised by Agard in the public interest.

Padarath said the Minister must say:

“1. Whether it is true that Agard communicated directly with him providing updated and accurate information that he chose to disregard on October 31st 2023?

2. Did the Minister through the board place a gag order on TSTT’s Executive Management in the aftermath of the cyberattack?

3. Was the Minister made aware of the October 3rd breach and the alleged insubordination by middle management that withheld critical information from Ms. Agard and Mr. Ramnarine before they were fired?

4. In light of allegations of conflicts of interest with members of the board and the operations of TSTT, was the Minister aware of these conflicts?

5. Who instructed the board to fire Ms Agard and Mr Ramnarine and was due process and natural justice followed?

6. In light of all the allegations of incompetence swirling around the politically appointed board of TSTT, why was the board not fired?

7. What role did the Minister have in appointing Mr. Weston to act as CEO of TSTT?

8. What is the nature of the relationship between the Chairman of TSTT, Mr Weston and the Minister?”

He added that the issues raised at the JSC yesterday left the country with more questions than answers.

Padarath contended that the continuous undermining of employees at state institutions was a feature of this government and that TSTT was just another example of political interference by persons who were not fit to even run a parlor.

Agard and Ramnarine told the JSC yesterday that they were both fired from their roles with no explanation.

The JSC met in order to discuss the circumstances surrounding a cybersecurity breach at the state-owned entity in October 2023.