Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate Wade Mark has
alleged that embattled chairman of the Urban Development
Corporation of T&T (Udecott) Calder Hart was illegally
appointed as chairman of the National Insurance Board (NIB).
In the Senate yesterday Mark said in 2005 Prime Minister
Patrick Manning (also Finance Minster at the time) appointed
Hart as chairman contrary to the stipulations of the National
According to Mark, the Act stated that the Government was
able to appoint three members to be designated directorsone
of whom appointed to represent its interests was Hart.
But after the seat of chairman became vacant in 2005, Hart
was chosen although the Act stated that a person appointed
as chairman should be, in the opinion of the Finance Minister
(then Manning), independent of Government business and labour,
is a very serious matterit generates conflicts of
interests and financial risks, Mark said.
He added that he had information that the Governor of the
Central Bank was about to introduce legislation through
the Finance Minister which would include barring individuals
involved in financial matters or organisations from sitting
on more than one or two boards.
Hart is the chairman of four financial bodiesthe T&T
Mortgage Finance Company (TTMF), NIB, Nipdec and Udecott
and is a director of the Home Mortgage Bank.
NIB controls about $18 to $19billion of assets on behalf
of the citizenry.
are concerned and the national community is concerned that
the PM and the Minister of Finance, who is supposed to hold
the law of this country, is the biggest lawbreaker.
has violated both the spirit and the letter of the NIB Act
in appointing Mr Calder Hart to chair the NIB, he
Mark went on to call for the immediate removal of Hart as
In an immediate response to Marks allegations, however,
Minister in the Ministry of Finance Mariano Browne rose
to his feet to defend Harts appointment, saying Hart
satisfies the definition of independent.