ICON’s Illegal Act

How could Anthony Deyal, the former Chief Executive of Government Information Services Limited (GISL), offer himself a contract at the same company he worked?

That’s what happened with Project ICON.

A thread of emails between Anthony Deyal and Mr. Doodnath Bhola, then chairman of GISL, in March 2015 suggests that Deyal had been acting illegally regarding Project ICON to the extent that the board at the time was concerned about his integrity.

Under the People’s Partnership, Project ICON (Integrated Communications Outreach Network) was launched as a one minute television serial meant to feature the views of ordinary people and for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to receive information on the ongoing work of the Government. The project sold itself as one so that all citizens regardless of region, religion or race would know how to access a vast variety of benefits and opportunities available.

Former Communication Minister, Maxie Cuffie in his contributions to the 2015-2016 budget debate claimed that GISL’s Project ICON, comprising video clips of PP Ministers speaking, cable ads and electronic billboards, was a “con job” done by a man who “had a way with words” and was the beneficiary of payments equalling $15 million. He claimed the project was called a strategic plan but was really a costly means to “enrich a few” and to aid the UNC in re-election via its message —“Your Government Working For You.” The Icon programme was meant to include the use of 500 screens and the service providers were paid in full, although only 50 screens were installed, Cuffie claimed. “The Project Icon was a web of mismanagement, vanity and waste.”

 

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