$343 Million- The cost incurred by taxpayers as former Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan employed the services of private lawyers to do the work of his office.
Two former Attorneys General describe this phenomenon as gross overspending.
Among the revelations are:
- Increased spending on legal fees for private attorneys since 2010, from 25% to almost 50% of the total budget allocated to the Attorney General’s office.
- An increase in the budget assigned to the Attorney General’s office, from $36 million in 2010, to $130 million in 2015- an increase of almost 400%
- An increase in the allocation for legal fees in 2011 to $78 million or over 100%
- An increase in the allocation for legal fees in 2012 to $104 million
- An increase in the allocation for legal fees in 2015 to $130 million
- The retention of a private lawyer for $408,000 to reply to a pre-action protocol letter that the individual had paid another lawyer $2,000 to file.
- Charging and payment of legal fees for an investigation into the Scarborough General Hospital construction project, which is yet to be released.
- Charging of $400,000 for advice on exemption from taxes on the purchase of motor vehicles.
- Mysterious payment of TT$1,750,000 to Tiger Capital Ltd, a local company with no legal expertise, part owned by a former client of the Ex Attorney General, for “Request for Mutual Assistance by the USA”. The US Department of Justice denies knowing about, or ever having anything to do with the company. The million-dollar-plus payment was made to the company 6 days after it was restarted, following a period of 5 years of inactivity. The official address of the company- 16B McInroy Street, Curepe, in an empty plot of land.
Commenting on the issue, PM at the time Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she could not comment on the expenditure by her former Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan, as she had not studied the figures and stated that as far as she had been aware, no investigation had been launched into the allegations.
The Attorney General’s office at that time not only engaged in what seems evident as blatant fraud and squander-mania, but more so, proved his unfitness for Public Office.