Friday 7th March, 2008


No done deal Imbert: No money paid yet

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Inside the main cabin of the Bombardier Global Express XRS executive jet to be bought by Caribbean Airlines.



WORKS and Transport Minister Colm Imbert is denying that Government has already paid for the controversial $63 million Bombardier Global Express XRS executive jet to be bought by Caribbean Airlines (CA).

On Monday, CA confirmed plans to establish a private jet leasing company and buy an executive jet, which it said would be used by government officials and business executives.

CA said it had already identified an aircraft for the service.

Speaking yesterday during the weekly post-Cabinet press conference at White Hall, Imbert said Government had not yet paid for the aircraft, because CA had not yet signed a contract for the purchase.

Imbert said there were several contractual matters still to be resolved.

In addition, Imbert Government wanted to make sure there was no impropriety in the purchase of the jet.

“Therefore, we are insisting on the insertion of a standard anti-corruption clause in the contract where, if it is discovered that any person has somehow benefited from this transaction, the contract will be void and the seller would have to refund the money.”

He said the parties were still negotiating the wording of the anti-corruption clause.

As he tried to dispel recent media reports that the purchase of the jet was a done deal, he added:

“Up to the time I went to the Cabinet meeting this morning, the aircraft had not been paid for.”

He insisted that the contract had not been “consummated,” and would not be signed until the wording of the clause had been finalised.

Reached by telephone yesterday evening, Imbert said up to the time he left office for the day, the wording had not been agreed upon, and the contract was still not signed.

He told the Guardian: “That clause must be watertight.”

Imbert said the $63 million support promised to CA by the Government had been raised, but the money was in an account and would not be paid until a contract was signed.

Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference.



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