Contract to Housing Minister’s husband should be reviewed – Head Of CH&PA

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Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Lelon Saul has agreed that it was a conflict of interest for Godfrey Yearwood, the husband of the Minister with responsibility for Housing Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, to be given a contract to build houses for the Ministry.

“If the contractor in question is the spouse of the Minister, then certainly, it would be a conflict of interest,” Saul told reporters at the sidelines of an event at Guyhoc Park, La Penitence, Georgetown on Friday.

Saul pointed out that the award of contracts is done by the Board of Directors of the CH&PA but he called for the contract to be reviewed.

“I think that the board should review that based on a recommendation coming from the agency,” he noted.

The News Room on Wednesday reported that the husband of Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, the Minister within the Ministry of Communities responsible for the housing sector, has a current contract to build houses for the Ministry under a special housing programme.

The issue was brought to light after a sub-contractor lodged several complaints against Yearwood that he was not paid for the works done.

When contacted, the Minister suggested that she does not intervene in the work of the Board or influence its decisions.

She denied knowing whether her husband was granted contracts after the two got married but said she knew of the fact that he has a current contract.

“It’s one contract; I think it’s for two buildings,” the Minister said.

The Minister married the contractor and Pastor Godfrey Yearwood on August 16, 2017.

She said that he was not pre-qualified for projects in 2018 or 2019 or for any future engagement.

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