SLNT responds to ‘758 Patriot’

Dear Patriot,

Your questions are legitimate and balanced except for the last point about political hijacking.  If you look at the Saint Lucia National Trust Act (available on our website www.slunatrust.org) you will see the names of the persons who were appointed by Premier John Compton to create the organisation and will realise that they are from both political parties.  Therefore, the organisation is a product of a bi-partisan effort. We do not discriminate when accepting members, neither do we prevent members from speaking at our membership meetings on political grounds.  Membership to the Trust empowers you to speak to any aspect of the Trust’s mandate (Section 4 of the Act) and to influence, and give direction on how we handle issues. More importantly, perhaps is that membership to the Trust is secondary to constitutional rights.  

You have done a good analysis of the funds generated by the Trust since its creation. Note, however, that the funds generated (you mentioned 2016) includes the subvention we receive from the Government.  Since 2000, $200,000 of the subvention we received was for the Pigeon Island redevelopment. We have these funds in reserve for the project. It was not used to fund our operations.   

 

Allow me to respond to your specific questions:

  1. The Trust is an organ of the State and as such receives support from the State to help fund its operations.  This was the intention from the beginning.  If you look at the Trust’s mandate (Section 4 of the Act) you will see the words “for the benefit of the State” referenced a few times.  This was the thinking that created the organisation and at the time it was the intention to provide this support with the understanding that over time there would be phased reductions as the organisation becomes financially capable of meeting its obligations on its own.  This is why the Trust’s subvention, which started at $1m, was reduced to $750, 000 and then $500,000.  These reductions were the result of consultations with the Government and based on financial programmatic considerations.  We are trying to get approval for some investments that would improve our income, but approval is stalled.
  2. The Trust’s audit reports and annual reports are made available to our members annually both via email and on our website in the members’ area.  They are also submitted to the Para Statal Monitoring Unit and laid before Parliament.   In terms of financial management, we have very strict protocols under which staff makes quarterly budget requests to Council based on an approved work programme which is based on our Strategic Plan (also on our website) and must account for the funds when making subsequent quarterly budgetary requests.
  3. On the matter of salaries, I am not at liberty to divulge what we pay staff. I can say, however, that our salary structure is based on the public sector salary scale.  For example, if we hire technical staff they will be appointed at some point between the equivalent of Government’s grade 10 – 16, based on qualifications and experience.  We also follow an increment scale based on the public sector model.
  4. The $6.4 million is not for a conference facility (events centre) only.  The project includes a gift shop, reconstruction of Admiral Rodney’s home to accommodate out offices, documentation centre and interpretation centre, converting the officers’ mess into an events centre, upgrading the Captains Cellar into a full restaurant and reconstruction of the gatehouse and security building.  A lot to do, but will be done on a phased basis to minimise interruptions and/or negative impacts.  Last year we hosted over 100 events at Pigeon Island but we do not have a covered space in case of rains. The facility will be used for both events and conferences to maximise income.
  5. With regards to the 2013 dolphin proposal, the facts are as follows:   In 2013 there was a Cabinet conclusion granting approval in principle for the land use, pending the submission of the application.  We did not see the cabinet conclusion until it was leaked in March this year – therefore we could not have commented at the time.  A pronouncement was made in the 2014 budget as a project to come on stream.  We did not comment on the budget address, as it is not something the Trust does.  At the time we were on the DCA Board and would have been involved in determining the application.  However, no application reached the DCA, therefore, there was nothing to comment on.  Had the application been submitted, we would have referred it to our members for guidance, as we have done with the current application.

With regards to the boat, I assure you that except once, when we first received the boat, two members of council and I accompanied the Marine Police for its first run, no member of the Council has been on the boat thereafter personal reasons.  The boat has been on dry dock because it was costing us more to take the boat from Rodney bay to Vieux Fort and back than to rent a boat in Vieux Fort to do our monitoring work.  In the mean time we pay rent to keep the boat in dry dock and insurance.  The decision to sell the vessel was purely economic.  

I trust I was able to allay the concerns you have. We invite you as a patriotic Saint Lucian to join the Trust and help to fulfil the organization’s mandate as an active member.
Saint Lucia National Trust

13 Comments

  1. moses
    April 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Mr. Tulsie one of your employees does no work but has been on Facebook for the past year campaigning for the labour party like a poule folle. Please dock her salary accordingly and save the trust a few dollars. Another one was Kenny’s propaganda chief, part of the inner circle sucking the life blood out of St.Lucia like a mygweh. Another one is like a pipireet making noise uselessly trying to be objective but showing her infatuation with Kenny. Please reign them in because they are destroying the credibility of the trust that we have worked so hard to build.

    1. Trouble
      April 28, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Moses lead the people out of bondage

    2. Anonymous
      May 2, 2017 at 11:48 am

      I understand your concern but I have a concern about that because I know employees of the Trust who are also die hard UWP. I also know some of their Council members who are UWP pillars. So if the Trust has to start discriminating against employees then that would really make them a political organisation.

  2. Anonymous
    April 28, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    It is not the trust that people have a problem with or it’s mandate, it’s the fact that all the commotion is being perpetuated by known labour party operatives whose motives are in conflict with that of the trust. They don’t care a bit about St. Lucia just wanting to be a thorn in the government’s side. I told Calixte that this behavior is shameful and that is bringing the trust into disrepute.

    1. Concern
      April 28, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Trust me St. Lucian that is pain ea painew you all vote Labour out because of labour pain Labour is out and can still control your pain. Well can someone please the PM a good liar must have a good memory.

    2. Fed Up
      April 28, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      Chastanet has had a problem with the Trust long before he was Prime Minister! Calixte has been a long standing member of the Trust for many years and has served in good stead. I am speaking from my observations and personal knowledge. I must also confess that my entire family and I are UWP supporters! But sad to say that the PM has made a comess with his ilogical and irrational thoughts. What saddens me most about this situation is that no one in the party has the testicular fortitude to tell the PM that he is wrong on this issue. Additionally he needs to stalk of his dangerous lies and apologize to the people of St. Lucia. It is shameful that a personal holding one of the highest office of tbis land is behaving line a hoodlum.

      To the wife of the Prime Minister, I beg that you spare st. lucians further humilition by reigning in this spoilt toddler!

      i thank you!

      1. M47
        April 29, 2017 at 10:09 am

        I am appealing to the prime minister to reconsider his decision on the subvention and support Mr. Tulsie and by extension the trust. I am appealing on Mr. Tulsie to produce a comprehensive strategic plan. I am appealing to the SLP activists within the trust to calm down and park their political agendas for the love of the trust and St. Lucia.

  3. R
    April 29, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    sLNT has nothing better to do with their time. And government paying them ?

    1. Calvin
      April 29, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Shortly stated, the SLNT’s response blatantly fails the sniff test.
      .
      As only one of several particular examples of how the response fails the sniff test, the response states:
      .
      “The Trust’s audit reports and annual reports are made available to our members annually both via email and on our website in the members’ area.”
      .
      This is an organization funded by the taxpayers of St. Lucia, not an exclusive privately held club or privately held business entity. We’re all, by default, ‘members’. Why would audit reports not be published and not be publicly accessible?
      .
      “Members” only areas on web sites are typically used to provided added content to paying customers, or to secure documents that are only in draft-in-progress and not finalized, or to hold classified documents. Not so in the case, Why then? That would very, very strongly indicate that something is being hidden by the SLNT.
      .
      The SLNT has been quietly operating under the radar and is seemingly now being selfishly co-opted for for questionable purposes. It is time to kick some rocks over and shed a light on just what the SLNT has and has not accomplished.
      .
      In these challenging fiscal times for our nation where, like it or not, tough decisions have to be made as to secure the future of our economy and safety and security of our people, the present scrutiny of the SLNT should be both applauded and encouraged to go further.
      .
      As voters, each has a voice and each has their unique value to add in where our nation goes and what nation we will leave for our children. Opportunities as follows:
      .
      — Office of the Prime Minister – General – (758) 468-2166
      — PM’s Secretary: (758) 453-7352
      — Cabinet Secretary: (758) 468-2115
      — Press Room: (758) 468-2405
      — E-mail: [email protected]
      — Twitter: https://twitter.com/allenchastanet
      — Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/opmsaintlucia/
      — Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaintLuciaGovernment/
      .
      Audit:
      Telephone – (758) 468-1512, (758) 468-1514, (758) 468-1515, (758) 468-1516, (758) 468-1517, (758) 468-1519
      .
      E-mail – [email protected]
      .
      Get Involved. Ask More. Be Heard.

      1. Anonymous
        May 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        If SLNT has to give an account publicly for the “fraction” of it’s operations it receives from Government then the rule of transparency dictates that all the other organisations should be required to give a public accounting. By the way the article clearly states “They are also submitted to the Para Statal Monitoring Unit and laid before Parliament.” So the government is aware of what the funds are used for! Maybe readers are so bent on criticizing the Trust or are blinded by party politics that they only read what is convenient to them!

    2. Nina
      April 29, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      Would you have preferred them to not respond to the questions of the people? As a Saint Lucian I am quite happy that the SLNT responded because I certainly wanted to know the answers to some of these questions.

    3. Anonymous
      April 30, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Fool the people are paying them and that also includes you

    4. Anonymous
      May 2, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Note well, the subvention is only a portion of the Trust annual income. The rest is earned by staff who work their tail off to clean and maintain over 20 sites some of which the Taxi drivers and tour operators take tourist to visit on a weekly basis. Plus the Trust goes out and get funds from several other international organisations. All of this to say that the Trust is not seating there relying on Government funds only, it does things to raise it’s own money to supplement what it gets from Government. What people need to ask themselves is what is National Archives and A&H doing or have been doing so that they do not continue to rely on Government funds. Lucians also need to ask themselves why government paying a whole bunch of Civil Servants so much money to give the public poor service. And we know it, half the civil servants not working for the salaries they getting!!!

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