KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace on Monday reiterated his call for Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Authority, Glen Beache to resign.
Eustace described as “an admission of guilt” Beache’s de-registration last week of a business that was a “sister company” to and shared directors with Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi in Trinidad, which markets St. Vincent and the Grenadines across the Caribbean.
He quoted minutes of a March 2010 meeting of the Tourism Authority during which the Chief Operating Officer (COO) told the Chairman that the Authority was yet to receive a work programme submission from Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi.
“She (the COO) reported that in the past year, Lonsdale only submitted invoices regarding work they did but they had never submitted a comprehensive work plan,” Eustace quoted the minutes as saying.
“Now, how is Mr. Beache going to tell them to work if he had them on his [company’s] board. That is where the conflict of interest comes in,” Eustace said.
“When you look at the information here, the Tourism Authority is in a mess. And at each time, Beache was in control — either as the Minister or as the Chief Executive Officer. So he is to blame for a lot of what has happened there,” Eustace added.
Eustace further quoted the Tourism Authority minutes as saying that the Chairman requested auditors to send letters to media houses in Trinidad “as a means of corroborating Lonsdale work as our agency”.
“He did not believe they were performing properly,” Eustace said, adding, “It shows you that he (the Chairman) was concerned.”
Eustace’s call on Monday for Beache to go was the second in a week, although Beache last week defended himself against accusations of wrongdoing.
The Trinidadian company was awarded the contract in 2006, when Beache was tourism Minister. Beache in May 2010 change his automobile business to marketing as he prepared to quit politics last year.
He said that on becoming the Tourism CEO he “could have been advised” to shut down the company, adding that the business never traded nor intended to do so.
“I maintain the highest principles standards in my personal and professional life,” he said during a press briefing.
However, Eustace said Beache has not said anything to convince him “that there is no conflict of interest on his part”.
Eustace read the editorial of Searchlight newspaper which said “The best practices of corporate governance stipulate that even years after leaving public office, such officials should not be engaged in personal business with parties to whom they had awarded contracts while in public office.”
“You are serving the public and you can’t let your private interest dominate in matters where public funds are involved,” Eustace said, adding, “That is the point I have been making and that is why I maintain that Beache must resign.”