KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The National Security of this country was not compromised when telecommunications company LIME blocked ingoing and outgoing calls to several government departments, including police stations last week, according to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
“There was no compromise,” Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, said in response to a reporter’s question at a press briefing on Monday.
“Some of the stations were cut off. But they were cut off for 24 hours and people have cellphones and any issues – the Commissioner [of Police] was in communication with people and people in communication with the Commissioner,” Gonsalves said.
While the 24-hour disconnection began last week Tuesday, Gonsalves said Thursday that disconnection of police stations had begun the previous weekend.
“Sometimes, you have to allow certain things to take their course in order to be able to get the necessary corrective and, obviously, LIME has no interest in cutting their principal customer,” he said on Monday.
“But when they call people who are supposed to be controlling the accounts, they must talk to the LIME people sensibly. Of course, it doesn’t mean that LIME must have numbers, which are not correct,” he further stated.
While LIME has sent the government an EC$2.6 million telephone bill, Gonsalves said that his administration owes the company less than EC$1.1 million.
“We can reconcile those but you have to talk to the provider properly” he said of public servants.
“And I am putting this issue firmly at the feet of the management in the public service — permanent secretaries and the heads of departments. I am putting it firmly at the feet of those who are abusing and misusing the telephone and, of course, just like how you will not pay for numbers which are not reconciled, you don’t expect the government to do that,” he said.