TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: $34 million claim for One Alexandra
News day / In a lawsuit filed in the Civil Registry of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago, COSL Office Supplies Limited, is seeking to recover payment owed to it for the outfitting of the building, which now houses the Ministry of Public Utilities. Senior Counsel Avory Sinanan, Richard Jagai, Varun Debideen and Joel Gobin are COSL's attorneys in the multi-million dollar claim.

According the lawsuit, COSL was awarded the contract by PSAEL in May 2012, and completed the job in December 2014, when the building was handed over to PSAEL. The contract was for the customisation and outfitting of office space at One Alexandra Place to accommodate the Ministry of Local Government. The contract sum was listed at $50.5 million in the lawsuit. The lawsuit stated that COSL submitted invoices for work done but has, to date, not been paid by PSAEL.

It went on to add that in August 2015, PSAEL acknowledged it owed $28.8 million but COSL said after extensively reviewing its records, it issued a statement of outstanding invoices for the $34.5 million it is seeking in the high court action which the company says is the true sum for which PSAEL is indebted.

It is also seeking $18.8 million in interest and an additional $22,000 a day from October 15.

The lawsuit contends that COSL's managing director Andy Balgobin has attempted on numerous occasions to receive payment but is yet to receive any or part of the outstanding sums owed to his company. A pre-action protocol letter was sent to PSAEL on May 5, 2016, and an extension of time to respond to was requested but PSAEL is yet to respond to its claim for payment. The lawsuit was filed in the San Fernando Civil Court Registry on November 24.

During the recently concluded Local Government election campaign, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the real reason the People's Partnership Government never used the building at One Alexandra Place was because they were more concerned with making sure that their friends and family were awarded the contract for retrofitting the building.

He said the Ministry of Public Utilities had already moved into the building and the rest of the ministry was in the process of moving with the ministry being the anchor tenant of a three-year lease from September 1, 2016 going forward.

TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: $34 million claim for One Alexandra

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