As I hinted at in Part I of this piece, much of the consternation surrounding this contract centres on the absolute misinformation being circulated from “certain corners”; that the agreement is between Don Lockerby and the Government (GOSL) and not between the GOSL and The Parker Company.
Unsurprisingly, the “certain corners” is the Opposition, who has made it a priority to let everyone (mistakenly) think that US $12 million is being paid to Don Lockerbie.
As I illustrated in Part I, SLBA President Leslie Collymore clearly fell victim to the misinformation being spread about this contract by the SLP, whose mouthpiece on this particular matter, Dr. Ernest Hilaire stated this on Tuesday: “The amount of money that will be paid to Don Lockerbie, based on the contract that we’ve seen, is the cost of building the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.”
Question: What does the contract actually say?
“This Agreement is made and entered into this 10th day of May, 2018, by and between the Government of St. Lucia (“GOSL”)…and sports project management firm, “The Parker Company, LLC (“TPC”)
It goes on to read: “It is agreed that the first scope of work for TPC is to manage design, development and construction of several projects for the next 15 months within a maximum project budget set by the GOSL not to exceed US $12, 000,000…”
As is clear in the above, the money that is being paid out is to The Parker Company and not to Don Lockerbie. Lockerbie is simply Hilaire’s strawman in his attempts to mislead the public as I will later illustrate.
Remember, Dr. Hilaire said “based on the contract we’ve seen” Don Lockerbie is being paid over $30 million. Yet nowhere in the contract is this stated, which makes me wonder if Dr. Hilaire is referring to some other contract.
If that were the case, he might be forgiven for simply being mistaken, but I think rather, he was deliberately twisting what he saw from the actual contract, in order to manipulate the public. But I suppose when it comes to Ernest, this is simply par for the course.
Dr. Hilaire would go on to point out that “the cost of construction of that facility was EC $33.7 million, thereabout. And for the cost of our National Stadium, the most expensive sports facility ever built by the Government of St. Lucia, with taxpayers’ monies, is exactly what we’re paying somebody to project manage a number of proposed facilities in St. Lucia.”
Notice, that Hilaire repeats his fib, that “somebody” is receiving all of the contracted money. However, as we’ve already seen, despite his claim that the contract of US $12 million is to Lockerby, the contract in fact states, that the agreement is between the GOSL and The Parker Company.
Which source of information should one believe?
The honest thing to do is to believe the primary source of information; that being the contract itself; unless of course it can be proven that Lockerbie is a company in and of himself or if another document can show that he is the one receiving all of the money. Until then, I’ll take the words of the binding contract over Ernest Hilaire’s conjecture and deliberate misinformation.
Also important from the above Hilaire quote, is the pithy bit of information he managed to drop, in the midst of his Lockerbie misinformation. That being that the EC $33.7 million agreed between the GOSL and The Parker Company, is roughly the equivalent of the amount of money the then Labour Administration paid to build the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
As the details outlined in the contract show, “the TPC team identified upwards of forty venue locations throughout St. Lucia that merit upgrading…”
Of those 40 locations, the TPC team divided them into two categories; Shovel Ready Projects and Study Ready Projects. The 5 Shovel Ready Projects I highlighted in Part I of this piece, is what the company is being paid to construct over the next 15 months for US $12 million.
So 1: according to my Math, 5 completed projects, is more than 1 completed project for the same US $12 million. So thanks for that one Dr. Hilaire. It was a point well-made and one that highlights just how expertly the SLP has misused “taxpayers’ monies” in the past.
And 2; the agreed upon fee isn’t just so that The Parker Company can “project manage” a number of proposed facilities as Dr. Hilaire stated. The Parker Company is contractually obligated to construct those facilities over a fixed period of time for the maximum of US $12 million; a fee the GOSL has left itself the wiggle room to increase if necessity dictates.
And to underscore the importance placed upon this (minute) detail, the GOSL felt the need to include this not-so-insignificant clause in the contract:
“If TPC shall fail to fulfil in timely and proper manner, the obligations under this Agreement…the GOSL shall thereupon have the right to terminate this Agreement by giving written notice to TPC of such termination…”
Old English aside, the above is pretty clear.
With the actual contract, apparently too much for Dr. Hilaire to bear, he elects to withdraw from (attempting) to utilise its details to manipulate the public and instead decides to use Don Lockerbie’s (alleged) words at a press conference, as a strawman in which to attack the government.
He states: “I think it was insulting to St. Lucians to have to listen to what Don Lockerbie was saying.” Insulting to St. Lucians? Why is Hilaire speaking for all St. Lucians?
He then goes on to paraphrase a number of things Lockerbie (allegedly said) claiming that Lockerby was suggesting that we’re too small island and we have to think big and internationally; the obvious insinuation being that Lockerby was being condescending to us.
However, whether or not Hilaire’s paraphrases of Lockerby are accurate; it simply doesn’t matter because no matter what Lockerby said or didn’t say, it has no bearing on the details in the contract.
“Do we even have the money to build those facilities that you’re talking about?” Hilaire said paraphrasing a question a journalist (allegedly) asked Lockerbie.
So with St. Lucia’s total expenditure hovering around $1.5 billion annually and with the agreement worth just over $30 million; this is the question: “Do we have the money?” Makes you wonder doesn’t it?
Anyway, Hilaire went on to state that Lockerby was asked about the floodplain of Cul-de-Sac, in which he cites Lockerby stating that “Billions of dollars were spent to build all the sporting facilities at the Meadowlands.” (Home of the NFL’s New York teams)
The point about the floodplain is of course a good and valid one, even without Hilaire’s twisting. However, the Cul-de-Sac project does not come under the 15 month, US 12-million-dollar deal, but is part of what The Parker Company called the Study Ready projects.
So when Hilaire asked “is that our priority?” Well, according to the contract, it in fact isn’t a priority and that is why it is under the longer 3-year contract. So his question was really a pointless one, seeing as no one said and no contract indicates, that the proposed project at Cul-de-Sac is our priority.
Furthermore, if Lockerby really did suggest that we ought to spend billions to remedy the problems of the Cul-de-Sac floodplain; (and I doubt he did) but if he really did suggest that, then that is his own private opinion and is not binding on the Government, nor on the contract it signed with The Parker Company, and therefore Hilaire’s hissy fit over it, serves merely as a distraction to the general public.
He once again peddles the lie that Lockerby is getting paid 10’s of millions of dollars for simple designs and plans.
However, the actual contract states something entirely different. And if the already quoted details from said contract do not suffice to convince you that Hilaire’s claims are totally false, here’s yet another detail from the contract showing that The Parker Company has to pay workers it will higher on behalf of the government.
“For each month during the project—GOSL will advance the funds requested by TPC with proper backup documentation in order for TPC to pay all the project stakeholders (under separate contracts or via a Purchase Order system managed by TPC on behalf of the GOSL), including but not limited to: architects, engineers, specialty consultants, general contractors…and all other companies and personnel assigned to work on the projects.”
Thus, out of the “10’s of millions of dollars” that TPC is getting, they are responsible for paying “all the project stakeholders…”, which include not only architects for designs and plans, but engineers and general contractors, for actual construction.
Therefore, even if the false assertion that Lockerby is getting the 30 plus million dollars in this agreement were true; it is clearly not just for design and plans and he would still have to use some of that money given to him by the government, to pay all project stakeholders on separate contracts; crushing the false claim that Lockerby is getting US $12 million. He is not, and even TPC is not getting to keep all of that money but has to use it to pay project stakeholders.
All Hilaire is doing, is using Lockerby as a strawman to formulate an argument against the government over this contract because he has no case and is simply opposing for opposing sake; and quite frankly it’s pretty pathetic and reeks of desperation.
At the same press conference, Opposition Leader Philip J Pierre said the SLP thinks this agreement is madness and that St. Lucia is paying $30 million plus to Lockerby so he can dream. (Of course to hearty laughter from certain members of the media)
Even so, Pierre’s nightmare, is that this dream becomes a reality this time next year and this country will be five sporting facilities better off than it is now and what it was under Labour.
So just to summarise the facts of this case:
- US $12 million dollars is being paid out by the GOSL. However, that $12 million is not to Don Lockerbie personally, as has been bandied about by the SLP brass.
- That $12 million is ultimately being paid to TPC for the construction of 5 sporting facilities across the island and not just for Lockerbie’s or TPC’s designs and plans as also falsely claimed by the SLP.
- And lastly, TPC is not getting to keep all of the US $12 million, because it has to use some of it to higher all of the project stakeholders.
There are many valid criticisms one can levy at this deal and the facilities scheduled to be built; like how are they going to be financially sustained over a 5 to 10-year period and beyond; without having to make things up about the contract details.
Why the Opposition feels the need to barter in fake news over this issue is beyond me.