The Government is expecting that the Mayor and City Council and Smart City Solutions will heed its advice on the 90 days suspension of the parking meter project. However, the administration is still to inform the stakeholders of their recommendation.
This was made clear today (Friday, March 17, 2017) by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon during his weekly Post Cabinet media briefing.
Harmon said the decision recently made at the level of Cabinet is still to be officially communicated to the M&CC who will then have to hold discussions with Smart City Solutions. According to him, it is Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan will have to communicate with the Council, and it is his hope that the Minister would do so soon. Bulkan had previously signed off on the parking meter By-laws, bringing paid parking in the City, into effect.
“My understanding is that the City Council has to have a meeting where the advice of Cabinet is given to it and it, is ratified and they move forward with that” Harmon explained.
The Minister was also asked about possible legal implications that could result from Cabinet’s recommendation which he summed up to “legal issues” that could be addressed in the process but maintains that Government has made its concerns very clear.
According to Harmon his understanding of the process “is that if the parties do not agree with a position, then they go to arbitration and in the arbitration these issues are dealt with, but I believe that the signal sent the Government is a strong enough one to ensure that the parties to the contract understand that this is something that needs to be done.”
However, Harmon did note that City Hall remains to be an independent and duly elected body, which led journalists to ask what recourse exists for Government should this duly elected body insist on its independence.
“There are two options, one is suspension, the other of course is revocation and if the intervention of a party under what might be termed as ‘force majeure’ exists then certainly the parties to the contract can understand what needs to be done and the contract spells out itself in clear terms what force majeure is and what needs to be done” he explained.
Oxforddictionaries.com defines force majeure in law as an “Unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.”