ST.LUCIA: Secrecy and Mismanagement Shrouds Government’s Halls of Justice Project

The United Workers Party (UWP) strongly condemns the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP)
Government for its ongoing pattern of secrecy and mismanagement concerning the new
Halls of Justice project. On April 19th, a sod-turning ceremony was held, shrouded in
secrecy with no local media invited, contrary to the principles of transparency and
accountability expected in a democratic society.
As is typical of this SLP administration, they opted to manage public communication
through controlled narratives, excluding our local journalists while details of the project
were released to and published by the Trinidad Guardian. According to reports, the new
Halls of Justice, with a staggering price tag of US$61 million or EC$162 million, not
including financing cost, for a 33,000 square foot facility, equates to an exorbitant cost of
$4,930 per square foot. This cost is nearly ten times the construction cost of the most
expensive building previously erected in this country. Such financial decisions with
serious implications for all Saint Lucians, warrant public scrutiny and justification, yet our
Government remains silent and excludes the media. Once again, inexplicable and
exorbitant debts are being accrued by this Government which will burden the taxpayers of
this country for the foreseeable future. This indiscriminate debt assumption and
uncontrolled spending will cripple our people by stifling the opportunities for economic
growth laid down by the UWP administration when it left office in July 2021 where the
economy was on a clear upwards trajectory with record tourism arrivals and job creation.

Even more concerning is the lack of a tendering process and the financing arrangement
through Republic Bank, which has deviated from the customary procedures involving the
National Insurance Corporation (NIC) and the National Investment Promotions Inc.
(NIPRO). Why were representatives from NIC and NIPRO present at the ceremony if not
to mislead the public about the nature of their involvement? Clarification must be provided
to the Saint Lucian public on these issues.
The chosen location in the heart of the city deviates from previous plans that considered
traffic flow, accessibility, and logistical efficiency. The new site near vital city
infrastructure will likely result in heavy congestion, already an issue in Castries, more
challenges relating to parking, and potential structural impacts on neighboring buildings as
result of the proposed pilling, including our landmark Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception and the remaining CDC Buildings.
The United Workers Party demands immediate transparency about the financing and
operational details of this project. We call on the Government to disclose all aspects of the
Halls of Justice project to the public and to engage in a process that respects the principles
of fairness, competitiveness and prudence so the public is satisfied.
The UWP remains committed to holding the Government accountable and insists on a
governance approach that upholds the integrity and responsible management of public
resources. The people of Saint Lucia deserve no less.

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