Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Basil Williams, SC at a Press Conference at the National Communication Networks said that, Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan was in his Ministerial capacity when he ordered that the By-Laws for the Parking Meter project be suspended.
Hon. Basil Williams, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs
Minister Williams explained that he is one of the Ministers who reviewed the contract and gave his opinion on how burdensome the terms were, additionally, Minister Williams said that the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan also shared his opinion on the contract from a Finance perspective.
“I am the one that viewed the Parking Meter Contract from the beginning; I am the one who gave the opinion on and interorum clause (is a clause in a legal document, such as a contract designed to threaten someone, usually with litigation or criminal prosecution, into acting, refraining from action, or ceasing to act), I was that person I did that no one else”, Minister Williams said.
The Attorney General explained that under the,“ (Municipal) Act 306 the Minister can act under the provision that gives him the power to make any regulation in respect to any matter coming under the purview of the Act, which in this case is the bylaws”.
In response to the public outcry, Cabinet held meetings with stakeholders. At a meeting on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 Cabinet concluded that it was in receipt of sufficient information to advise that the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) suspend the parking meter project for a period of 90 days.
Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan was requested by Cabinet to communicate the decision taken, including the issues of concerns raised by stakeholders and civil society. He did so in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by virtue of Section 306 of the Municipal and District Council’s Act. In his declaration, the Minister Bulkan said that the M&CC was in default of its functions with respect to the by-laws governing the project
However, at the special statutory meeting convened last Monday by the M&CC to discuss the parking meter issues, the councilors could not agree on whether or not to adhere to Central Government’s advice to suspend the parking meter project.
Hence, Minister Bulkan wrote to the Acting Commissioner of Police to have Police officers present on the road to protect citizens from be clamped by Smart City Solutions(SCS).
Other concerns raised by Cabinet pertained to the cost of parking in the jurisdiction of Georgetown, the provision for the parking of police, army and fire service vehicles and ambulances in areas in Georgetown, the financial arrangement of the project and the need for greater involvement of stakeholders in the process